Mistake In ’08, Part II – The Power of Hillary Clinton Supporters

A little snowflake can’t do much. Put enough snowflakes together however, and it’s a beautiful sight to see. Whole cities stop functioning and entire countries are forced to wait until those little snowflakes go away. Sometimes those snowflakes don’t go away – they’re called Hillary Clinton supporters.

JanH, quoted from a gossip columnist yesterday. The quote goes to show that even in those precincts, the smell of Obama desperation is in the air. Cindy Adams published a ridiculous “item” which can be dismissed completely as a possibility, but the news “item” is but a small example of how even in the society pages the “ladies who lunch” are aware of the mess Mess-iah Obama is and the only solution to the problem: Hillary Clinton. Here’s Cindy, fresh from a manicure:

Now, anyone mentioned the so far mumbled-about-only-behind-sealed-doors possibility that in this coming Supreme Court draught Our Father Who Art in the White House could . . . would . . . might . . . nominate Biden to the bench? The idea being to get Hillary as VP. To shore up his poll numbers. Let nobody say he’d even throw Michelle under the bus so’s to keep his government housing job. Let nobody say that. However, let somebody say that since his support has eroded with working-class Democrats, and that’s Hillary country . . . is all I’m saying.

Hillary country. Cindy Adams is saying what Americans of all colors and all parties are saying: Obama is a loser; “Hillary, save us!”

Cindy Adams is wrong on the Supreme Court nomination angle, but this gossip “item” is exactly right on the point of Hillary Clinton’s strong support with working class Democrats. Oh, and Michelle should be worried, that bus has big tires.

* * * * * *

Big Pink readers know we wrote long ago and often about the situation comedy demographics of the monster Obamination Dimocratic Party. We wrote long ago about how this hideous apparatus which supplanted the winning FDR/Hillary Clinton coalition was a loser that would not last. Barack Obama Destroys the Democratic Party, we wrote because his situation comedy coalition essentially is the old George McGovern coalition. The financial emergency and the reemergence at the end of 2008 of George W. Bush to deal with that financial emergency created an historical aberration: the election of Barack Obama after the selection and gifting of the Democratic nomination to B.O.

That historical aberration which led to the current catastrophe is increasingly recognized even among the Obama Apologists who are in retreat. Now, almost on a weekly if not daily basis, articles are published which agree with the arguments we have made for years.

The latest article which adopts most if not all of our premises comes from the Weekly Standard. The article is called The Clinton Voters Jump Ship:

The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama’s decline in the polls represents a new, unexpected turn against him. But an examination of the results of the recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts suggests that what we might really be seeing is a return to the skepticism that significant portions of the electorate have showed about Obama from the beginning of his national career.

Barack Obama was the chosen stooge of an establishment cabal we now know. Hillary Clinton could have healed the breach in the Democratic Party caused by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and united African-Americans and the White Working Class under one huge Democratic tent. Unlike JFK who worked for the votes of Southern protestants resistant to his candidacy, Obama choose to ignore the white working class and now the white working class will ignore Barack Obama.

More from the Weekly Standard article:

For six months during the 2008 primaries, Obama and Hillary Clinton crisscrossed the country wooing voters. Obama consistently failed to win over important parts of the Democratic base, even after it became clear that he was going to be his party’s nominee.

On February 5—Super Tuesday— Obama did poorly in both New Jersey and Massachusetts, losing to Clinton by 10 and 15 points, respectively. The exit polls were in line with Obama’s performance throughout the primary race: He did very well with blacks, wealthy voters, highly educated voters, and very young voters. He did poorly with working-class whites and older voters.

In other words, Obama did well with his situation comedy demographic, an ephemeral grouping at best, which benefited his candidacy in the 2008 elections but are a very poor choice to build a party on. But it was always about Barack, not about the Democratic Party. Now the Democratic establishment which conspired to drive Hillary Clinton from the race and install their monstrous selection, will inherit the wind.

And then there was gender and race. In New Jersey, Obama was -19 among white men; in Massachusetts he was +1.

In addition to the demography, there was geography. Obama ran well in urban enclaves. He also did well in college towns and state capitals. But he did poorly in the suburbs and in smaller industrial towns.

“Bitter” and “clinging” small town America, rejected Barack Obama and his insults and snobbery.

Reviewing the primary fight, Michael Barone noted that Obama got majorities “from whites only in his home state (Illinois), in states where the white Democratic primary electorate is unusually upscale and non-Jewish (Virginia, Vermont), and in mountain states where the cultural divide is not black-white.” This racial divide, Barone explained, was part of a larger, cultural divide between Jacksonians and academics. “In state after state, we have seen Obama do extraordinarily well in academic and state capital enclaves. In state after state, we have seen Clinton do extraordinarily well in enclaves dominated by Jacksonians.”

“Jacksonians” as in Andrew Jackson. Every year Democrats in many states celebrate at “Jefferson/Jackson” festivities and fund-raisers. “Jefferson/Jackson” are the Democratic Party and in the modern era we add FDR and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The is the core, the heart, of the Democratic Party. That heart has now been removed to install a TIVO situation comedy.

The Jacksonian Democrats tended to be white and working-class; the academics tended to be highly educated, and often government employees. This divide is often attributed to latent racism in the Jacksonians. But a suspicion of Barack Obama shouldn’t make you a racist. Consider the case of Buchanan County, a Jacksonian stronghold on the Virginia border next to both West Virginia and Kentucky. Obama lost Buchanan County to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 90 to 9. Which might make one view Buchananites with some suspicion—except that in the 1989 gubernatorial race, Douglas Wilder won Buchanan County by 18 points over his (white) Republican rival.

We will discuss the “racism” angle tomorrow in Part III. For now let’s focus on what has happened post 2008 election.

The question, then, is how these various coalition groups—the white ethnic enclaves, the Jacksonians, the suburban and industrial town voters—have reacted to Democrats since Obama took office. And the answer is: Without enthusiasm.

In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell won an 18-point victory in a state Obama carried by 6 points. Obama had been -24 among white men in 2008; McDonnell was +43. Obama had carried every income bracket under $75,000 by at least double-digit margins. McDonnell was -8 among those making between $15,000 and $30,000 a year. He was +6 from there up to $50,000 and +28 among those making between $50,000 and $75,000. Where Obama had lost whites without college degrees by a big margin—34 percent—McDonnell did even better than McCain had, rolling up a 51-point advantage. Buchanan County? McDonnell won it by 26 points, a 21-point swing against the Democrats.

In New Jersey, it was worse. Chris Christie was outspent by a millionaire incumbent in a state Obama won by 15 points. Christie won by 5 points, and the exit polls showed defections among the same groups who had been against Obama in the presidential primaries. Where Obama had been only -3 among white men, Christie was +34; where Obama had run even with older whites, Christie was +25; where Obama had been competitive among non-college educated whites (he was only -4 in the general election), Christie was +34. In the rural south, Obama had won Gloucester and Salem counties easily. A year later, they went for Christie. In heavily industrialized Passaic County, Obama had won by 21 points; Christie came within 8.

Which leaves Massachusetts. There were no exit polls for the January special election. One approximation comes from a Public Policy Polling survey conducted a few days before the election, which concluded with Scott Brown ahead by 5 points. Brown was +12 among white voters (Obama had been +20), and the poll suggested that Brown did very well among middle-aged voters: He was +14 among those age 30 to 44 and +3 from age 45 to 64. Among these groups Obama had been +18 and +20. The town and county results tell the same story. Plymouth and Worcester counties are two ethnic, blue-collar strongholds that went heavily for Clinton in the primaries, by 21 and 25 points, respectively. Brown won them by similar margins: +26 in Plymouth and +23 in Worcester.

What the above numbers mean is that Dimocrats should have seen the blood gushing from the chest in Virginia and New Jersey as an arterial wound, not a paper cut. Bluest of the blue Massachusetts was more than an arterial wound, it was the Democratic heart itself, stabbed and writhing.

But if we accept that the comparisons are at least marginally valid, then Obama is not encountering some new, unanticipated resistance from the electorate. Instead, it may be that his general election triumph was the aberration—that his coalition was never as strong as the financial panic of September 2008 made it seem. It would mean that he is now returning to his natural base of support and that the Jacksonians and others who resisted him in the primaries have turned away once again from his charms.

2008 November was an aberration. McCain followed the winning Republican playbook of “come out fighting only after the convention and ride to victory”. McCain was winning even though Big Media was out to destroy him and Sarah Palin. It was then that the financial crisis hit and George W. Bush came back to the fore and Americans decided enough was enough. Americans had had enough. It took the alleged collapse of the financial system to once again drag Obama over the finish line.

As we wrote in August, the Democratic Party died once Obama was gifted the nomination by the establishment cabal. Now the Obamination wolf which wears the Democratic clothes must be destroyed. It’s the only way to restore the common sense Democratic Party of Jefferson-Jackson-FDR-JFK-Bill-Hillary Clinton.

But it also suggests something more, that the Democratic party is now the party of Obama, for good and for ill. While the president is no Jacksonian, his party has many in its ranks. Democratic officeholders should be concerned about their voters fleeing not just from Obama but from their party as well. The president may be in the process of trimming the Democratic base back into something that looks an awful lot like his own primary base.

Obama’s primary base is the desired demographic of a situation comedy. Situation comedy’s are good to laugh at but they do not last. Hillary Clinton supporters are standing by the door in Winter quarters – bags packed and ready. From those Winter quarters Hillary Clinton supporters will either leave to do battle for Hillary, or we will leave, never to return to the fold.

A few weeks ago Representative Marion Berry, a Jacksonian from Arkansas’s First District, recounted an exchange he had with the president. Asked how he was going to prevent a midterm disaster on the scale of 1994, Obama replied, “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.” Which may be precisely the problem.

The problem precisely. Barack Obama is the Problem.

[Part I HERE. Part III tomorrow, and the “racist” question.]


152 thoughts on “Mistake In ’08, Part II – The Power of Hillary Clinton Supporters

  1. Well said, admin.

    It kind of reminds me of Brazille’s ludicrous statement that bambi doesn’t need anybody but young people (or words to that effect).

    Under the bus with the Jacksonian Democrats.

  2. oh and admin, there have already been two articles today speculating as to whether Hillary could become the next supreme court justice.

  3. Yes..I posted that Weekly Standard article in the last thread and it was right on point!!!!!!! We do, in fact, still have influence!!!!!!!!!!! This was very uplifting to know after the way Obama’s supporters mocked us.

  4. Haven’t read admin’s new post yet-

    Wanted to post this for confloyd- then go back..


    Thanks for posting the video confloyd. I was questioning when Thomas Jefferson fell out of favor with the Founders. And it appears it was because of the head of the Federalists, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was the one scuttled TJ’s popularity shunning him from the Founders circle after all he had given them in the way of thoughts and words composing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Eventually, the Federalists (under Hamilton) broke Jefferson financially where when he died, he died flat broke. Sad- out of all, Jefferson is my favorite Founding Father.

  5. Confloyd:

    Haven’t read admin’s new post yet-

    Wanted to post this for confloyd- then go back..


    Thanks for posting the video confloyd. I was questioning when Thomas Jefferson fell out of favor with the Founders. And it appears it was because of the head of the Federalists, Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was the one scuttled TJ’s popularity shunning him from the Founders circle after all he had given them in the way of thoughts and words composing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Eventually, the Federalists (under Hamilton) broke Jefferson financially where when he died, he died flat broke. Sad- out of all, Jefferson is my favorite Founding Father.

  6. Yep, RGB put up that article in full in the last thread. Wherever Hillary won handily Obama will lose because those people voted for the lesser of the two evils in the GE and are now walking away from the lesser evil. Now the Republicans are reconstituting and what could have been a clear Democratic party reign for two, three terms is now in question for the second term. Didn’t I read an article that Wall street thieves were starting to fund Repubs again?

    The video from the last thread on Obama and the Hamilton project — it is not a big surprise that the WS thieves went after the Dem candidate because they knew there was no way in hell a Republican was going to win in 08. But even they have to acknowledge the struggle to get Obama elected and now that win slipping right through their fingers.

  7. I sent that Weekly Standard article to RealClearPolitics on Saturday. Got no response. I finally found their editors’ emails and urged them to post it.

    It just went up this morning and went viral. Finally. I will keep trying to spread articles that show how the Obamacrats have ruined the Democratic Party.

    There are two Democratic parties. The party of Jefferson/Jackson-FDR/Truman-JFK/LBJ-Clinton/Rodham Clinton. Then there’s the party of Woodrow Wilson-Ted Kennedy-George McGovern-Jimmy Carter-Barack Obama.

    Who in their right minds would chose the latter over the former?

  8. Admin: Great article! We do have power and I think they are scratching their heads. They have irritated their base and of coarse we won’t have any thing to do with them so they are SOL.

  9. defiant one, If Obama is of the latter kind of democrat how do you explain his solid republican iniatives he has so far put forth??

  10. Does this sound familiar?


    Patrick, who ran in 2006 as an idealistic political outsider with an aspirational message of hope and civic empowerment, is now the one in power, facing slumping approval ratings and five eager challengers. An electorate that four years ago was ready for change after 16 years of Republican leadership is angry and economically wounded. Many of the governor’s diehard supporters are frustrated, with his fitful attempts to enlist the grass roots while in office, with some of his political priorities, and with his repeated cuts in the budget, however necessary.

    “It’s a tough period,’’ said former governor Michael S. Dukakis, who is credited with running a successful bottom-up campaign in 1982 after he was ousted from office in 1978. “If Deval’s going to win this thing, it’s got to be because he revives his grass roots. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s got to be done.’’

    President Obama, who rode to power in 2008 on a campaign modeled in part on Patrick’s, will undoubtedly be watching closely.

    David Plouffe – Obama’s former campaign manager, who is advising the Patrick campaign – said he is “very confident’’ the governor can rebuild his network, although it will be “very, very hard’’ to do. Patrick’s volunteers, he said, will need to defend the governor’s record to their neighbors and friends, rather than introduce him as a new figure, as they did in 2006.

  11. Something I wrote for Taylor Marsh nearly two years about Reagan Democrats. We saw this in the primary when we got to the states where the vote could not be manipulated through fraud and intimidation as it was in the caucuses. He never would have won the primary if party elders had not betrayed Hillary. He never would have won the general election if mysterious events had not triggered the economic collapse when they did. But now there is no getting around it. Seeing is believing. The problems get worse. The country and the world at large have no use for him. It is a tragedy for the country and for future generations that a flim flam man like Obama was elected at this watershed moment in our history.

    Barack Obama’s 20 year relationship with racist Reverend Wright who bellows “Goddam America” from the pulpit is a dispositive factor in this election. While it may not offend the sensibilities of elites in the media, academia, legal profession and business circles, it is repugnant to a powerful core group commonly referred to Reagan Democrats. Elites underestimate the magnitude of Barack’s problem because they are detached from this core group and are afflicted with a sense of moral relativism.

    Reagan Democrats are an ethnically diverse people who believe in a code of self reliance, equality and individualism. They are patriotic, religious and deeply distrustful of elites. They trace their origin back to the Scots-Irish clans who settled along the American frontier, but they are not racially exclusive. Rather, they are defined and motivated by the code and values described above.

    The distinction between elites and Reagan Democrats is stark. It can be summed up in these words: “I will not be won by weaklings-subtle, and suave and mild-but by men with the hearts of Vikings-and the simple faith of a child”. (Robert Service: The Law of the Yukon, 1898).

    Reagan Democrats comprise a substantial segment of the middle class and working class population. They are well represented in the military and Congress. Typically, they do not hold top positions in elite fields. Yet, elites need their support in order to win elections and secure their policy objectives.

    In recent years, the Democratic Party has nominated a succession of elite intellectuals for the Presidency. Those elections were lost because Reagan Democrats voted against them. Barack Obama is merely the latest example of this mistake. Even so, they were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But when they learned of the racial threats and garish anti-Americanism of his spiritual advisor all bets were off. Obama repudiated them through his surrogate and now they must repudiate Obama. Sure as the earth turns, if he is the nominee they will vote against him.

    By contrast, Reagan Democrats now see Hillary as one of their own- despite her extraordinary intellect and fine education. The issue of gender which made some men reluctant to support her has been marginalized by the Wright episode. Her campaign visits to communities across the country have challenged the negative caricature painted by the right wing over the past 15 years. They see Hillary as their champion fighting for them against the elite forces they despise (i.e. media whores, left wing kooks and party hacks). They share her goals and relate to her struggle on a very personal level.

    In sum, this critical group is now squarely behind Hillary and there is nothing Obama can do about it. The Wright problem which Barack never told them about has put media elites and senior party officials on the horns of a dilemma. After all, they have promoted him shamelessly to the American People but it is now clear that he cannot win the General Election. Therefore, they must find a face saving way to move away from Obama to Hillary if they hope to preserve their own credibility.

    wbboei | 03.24.2008 – 04:18 am | #

  12. admin: I haven’t kept up with Deval, but I imagine his record is as illustrious as Obama’s so his supporters had either be great con artists or pathological liars to defend his record.

  13. Have you all heard that Megan McCain was on Larry King that she is a republican progressive. Glenn Beck is having a field day with that. He has been labeling Hillary a progressive and now the republicans are using McCain’s daughter to demonize the progressive. It’s all so damn stupid.

  14. David Plouffe – Obama’s former campaign manager, who is advising the Patrick campaign – said he is “very confident’’ the governor can rebuild his network, although it will be “very, very hard’’ to do. Patrick’s volunteers, he said, will need to defend the governor’s record to their neighbors and friends, rather than introduce him as a new figure, as they did in 2006.
    He is right on that one. There is a profound difference between running an inspiring candidate who comes in to reform the system vs running as an incumbent with a checked record to defend. It will be hard for Patrick but much harder for Obama who has betrayed so many supporters and made so many enemies along the way.

  15. The way to rationally deal with the 2008 situation for the Democrats would have been to put a Clinton/Obama ticket to shore up all factions. But of course, Obama went for all or nothing and the Democratic coalition is in disarray with in the first year.

  16. Want more proof on how the media elites operate? They trashed Sarah Palin as unqualified, while embracing Obama who was less qualified than she was. She had been governor of an important State and he had been a do nothing US senator for less than one term. He had never run so much as a hot dog stand.

    Why then did they say she was unqualified? The reason was because she was not part of their Ivy League elite club and made no bones about the fact that she was not coming to Washington to cater to them.

    For these traitors, it was never a case of her not being qualified. The problem was that from a socio economic standpoint she was not one of them, and was a threat for that reason. Sexism was strictly one of the tools they used to destroy her candidacy so they would not have to give up their privileged lifestyle, which is all they really care about.

  17. Conflyod, Obama hasn’t put forth Republican initiatives, Republican iniatives have put forth him. He doesn’t have any initiative: he just let’s things happen and is took weak to stop it. He has totally lost control of the narrative because he gets rolled by everyone — Big Pharma, Big Industry, Big Union, Big Wall Street. Weak, weak, weak, when we needed Jackson-Truman-Clinton style strength. Very sad.

  18. The way to rationally deal with the 2008 situation for the Democrats would have been to put a Clinton/Obama ticket to shore up all factions. But of course, Obama went for all or nothing and the Democratic coalition is in disarray with in the first year.
    It is too late to do that now. Instead of adding to each other each would subtract from the base of the other. I doubt very much that most Hillary supporters would vote for the ticket if he was on top. Nor do I think his supporters would vote for that ticket since it would be further evidence that he sold out their left wing principles. The whole idea is a non starter.

  19. admin
    February 9th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Does this sound familiar?


    Patrick is another strutting peacock like his counterpart Obama. Patrick’s HC plan for MA is a failure. Obama based his HC pkg on Patrick’s plan. Former room mates Patrick and Obama are back to back losers. A sad waste of affirmative action money when there are people out there denied but far more deserving.

  20. I hate to tell Michelle Obama, when folks are out of work they eat low priced fattier foods. So her tackling childhood obesity while her husband dallies with the jobs problem is stupid. We need jobs, jobs, and more jobs so we can afford to buy quality foods for our children to combat Childhood obesity.

  21. wbboei, the only way that I would vote for a obama/clinton ticket now is for Obama to promise to go on a permanent vacation and let Hillary do all the work from the V.P.’s house. I read last night that Obama only listens to Rahm, Axelrod and Jarrett and he needs to fire the tripletts.

  22. Hillary Clinton to travel to Qatar, Saudi

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Qatar and Saudi Arabia this weekend amid efforts to boost ties with Muslim nations, revive Arab-Israeli peace talks and tackle security concerns.

    During the February 13-16 trip, Clinton is scheduled to attend the US-Islamic World Forum on Sunday in Qatar and meet the tiny Gulf state’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.

    The chief US diplomat will also meet Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, who plays a dual role as Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, Crowley added in a statement on Tuesday.

    At the US-Islamic forum in Doha two years ago, delegates voiced support for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, although some warned against expecting any radical policy change should he win the White House.

    A year into his administration, Obama has yet to achieve any significant momentum on stalled peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and Muslim audiences are now less receptive to his promise of a “new beginning” with the Muslim world.

    During her visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday and Tuesday, Clinton’s agenda includes talks with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.

    Crowley provided no details of the talks in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

    The visit to Qatar would complement the Obama administration’s efforts to improve ties with the Muslim world.

    In his inauguration speech last year, Obama vowed to seek a “new way forward” with the Muslim world “based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” after eight rocky years under his predecessor George W. Bush.

    During her stop in Saudi Arabia, Clinton will likely discuss the Arab-Israeli peace process, ways to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the threat from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in neighboring Yemen.

    The Al-Qaeda affiliate allegedly trained Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian accused of trying to detonate explosives concealed in his underwear as an airliner carrying nearly 300 people aboard approached Detroit on December 25.

    The State Department first announced the trip on its DipNote Twitter account, which officials said was the first time the agency had announced the secretary’s travel plans in a tweet.


  23. confloyd
    February 9th, 2010 at 6:43 pm
    wbboei, the only way that I would vote for a obama/clinton ticket now is for Obama to promise to go on a permanent vacation and let Hillary do all the work from the V.P.’s house. I read last night that Obama only listens to Rahm, Axelrod and Jarrett and he needs to fire the tripletts.

    No wonder we are in such dire straits, with Obama listening to the likes of Rahm, Axelrod, Gibbs, and Jarrett. They have no place advising the president.

  24. wbboei, I was talking about what would have been in the primary of ’08 if rationality and wiser heads ruled.

  25. State Department rebuffs call for Clinton intervention in Haiti case

    By Charley Keyes, CNN
    February 9, 2010

    Washington (CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not get directly involved in the case of the 10 Americans detained in Haiti on child abduction charges, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday.

    “It would be highly unusual for the secretary of state to intervene in a case involving the judicial process of another country,” spokesman P.J. Crowley said in an off-camera question-and-answer session.

    Reginald Brown — the Washington lawyer who represents one of the detained Americans — sent a letter to Clinton on Tuesday asking her to personally intervene with Haitian authorities. “This is all the result of a colossal misunderstanding and we are hoping it will resolve itself,” Brown said about the arrest and detention of his client, Jim Allen, and the other nine Americans. “We would appreciate it if you could continue to devote significant personal attention to this matter, as we are confident that with your assistance this misunderstanding could be quickly resolved.”

    He asked Clinton to make “a personal request” to Haitian authorities to allow Allen to speak to his wife and her lawyers and to have fresh supplies.

    “As far as I can tell, the one thing our detained American citizens have been able to do is communicate with just about anybody who wants to talk with them,” Crowley said at the State Department. “If family members wish to talk to them, I think that is something that can be easily facilitated through our embassy in Port-au-Prince or through the Haitian government.”

    The State Department continues carefully to defer to Haitian authorities. “We have had regular consular access and meetings with the 10 American citizens,” Crowley said. “I believe we have facilitated getting medicine or other needs to our citizens. We are doing exactly what we would do with detained Americans anywhere in the world. “As to intervening directly in the case, we are very respectful of the Haitian government and of Haitian law.” Crowley left open the possibility that there are alternatives to a Haitian trial.

    “This is a Haitian legal process. The matters right now involve whether these individual have broken Haitian law. We have talked to Haitian officials in general terms about their ability to conduct this procedure. If they want to explore alternative avenues with us, we will be happy to have that conversation,” he said.

    The State Department also has ruled out any special role for former President Bill Clinton in a possible release of the Americans. “It is unnecessary for former President Bill Clinton to play the role of intermediary as he did in North Korea in the case of the journalists being held,” Crowley told CNN on Monday. “The situation in North Korea and the situation in Haiti are dramatically different. In Haiti there is a functioning government with which we have diplomatic relations and established channels to monitor and deal with bilateral issues. North Korea is an opaque society with which we have no diplomatic relations.”

    Crowley said there are other Americans in custody in Haiti, in addition to the 10 Americans, but he provided no details of their identity or circumstances. Some are believed to be held on drug charges. “There are other Americans in custody. I don’t know what their charges are. … I think there were some in custody before the earthquake,” he said.


  26. I wondered why Jarrett was talking about national security (what does she know?!) on a Sunday talkshow and then I kept seeing Rahm, Gibbsy, and that other guy on all such shows. Edward Luce’s article in the FT (that JanH linked in the previous thread) should be a wake up call to this administration. It may also be the case that trust is in short supply in the Obama admin and he has a lot to hide, like for instance his incompetence. He may also not want some of his cabinet members upstage him. What a nincompoop!

  27. JanH, Those RWN are after her to get those idiots out of Haiti, well the dumbasses shouldn’t have tried get this children without the proper papers. Now the expect Hillary to save their dumb asses, I don’t think so, but the right will use it against her as Laura Ingram used her Prayer breakfast speech as a way to call Hillary anti-God.

  28. The article says that he’s doesn’t even consult Biden, for heaven sake this sociopath is scared of his own shadow. They even have axelrod, rahm and valerie in side offices around the oval office. It tells me that they never thought the idiot could run the WH, they had to have people within shouting distance to help him out.
    He is a joke.

    The video I posted clearly showed that Wall street picked Obama, they apparently did not trust Hillary would do their bidding. She would’ve done ours. Its so sad, we are left in the clutches of the bankers, bilderbergers, and the crooks of wall st.

  29. LittleIsis has a good Clinton-focused post up over at the Confluence about “Still believing in a place called Hope” I posted this in the comments, but wanted to repeat it here:

    I agree. And one of the reasons I agree is that I really do believe in the American People. They’re good people. Liberal, conservative, whatever, the vast majority are are heart good, sensible, caring people.

    I don’t buy that they are all stupid. I don’t buy that they are all a bunch of clueless doofuses just blowing whatever way the political manipulators choose. I think they are very aware of the manipulation, and even use the manipulators to their purpose, as much as they are used.

    I just do not believe that in the end, they are going to let either party ruin this country. They will slowly dig in their heels against crooks and crazies from either side. They might jump on or off this or that bandwagon in sheer frustration, but I believe they will come through for us all in the end. The People will save the day, given half a chance – not some new grand leader.

    I just do not believe that the majority are blind ideologues or party automatons, either right or left. I think we are, primarily, a very sensible people. And stubborn.

  30. confloyd,

    I have to admit that I was wondering how Americans back home feel about the Americans arrested in Haiti.


    Hello from the headquarters of the Tea Party Express! As I write you this email, our team is working on so many different, and great, things at once.

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    Please support this effort by making a contribution of any amount from as little as $5 up to the maximum allowed contribution of $5,000. You can contribute online – HERE.


    Fox News declared this effort “the most ambitious of the tea party events planned” for 2010. Here was their report:


  32. i can’t remember if we have posted this here before…it is worth a repeat post…


    Wanda Sykes compares O to underwear…and misses her Clintons…

  33. Admin…….I don’t say this often enough; I just love this site!
    your articles just keep getting better and better!!

  34. does anyone have a list of folks that voted for the stimulas bill? IF not, where can I find this info out?

  35. JanH, I not the normal American, but these idiots broke the law. I don’t feel sorry for them. Why were they there? They can’t even get supplies in and they stopped supplies long enough to get these zealots in. I wonder how many could have been saved while they were allowing these do-gooder church groups in. Life saving teams and search dogs should be first and not these idiots.

  36. confloyd,

    I agree with you. What were they thinking trying to take those children without getting the permissions necessary?

  37. Hillary will help get those folks out of Haiti. Haiti is in no position to conduct a criminal hearing on this issue. Let our court system handle the case, if there even is a case.

  38. jbstonesfan, I have no doubt that Hillary will get those people out, but doesn’t she have enough to do without having to get those idiots out of there?? It’s just maddening. I have read where there were many missionaries there, but the one who did the most work were the Catholics.

  39. Just like the Israeli’s have done the best with setting up a hospital to take care of the folks, but do we hear that??? NO, we hear how Hillary isn’t paying enough attention on getting those poor Christians out who were only trying to help, while talking poor people out of their children.

  40. Actually, I just scrolled CNN’s political ticker and see that the state dept will not intervene, and specifically Secretary Clinton. I fear that these people (yes, very stupid act) will be used as a scapegoat when we (USA) did so much for Haiti. I do not believe they had any criminal intent.
    On another note, seems MO won’t criticize Palin on Larry King Live as she does not know her. Funny , how in the primary, she had no problem taking vicious shots at Hillary and Bill, and refused to state she would endorse Hillary if she won. That lady sickens me.

  41. jbstonesfan,

    You’re the lawyer and I definitely respect your opinion, but I have to ask…naive though it might be…

    With all that the U.S. is doing to help Haiti, would the Haitian authorities have arrested those missionaries if they hadn’t broken the law?

  42. I’m looking for a phrase that a pollster used to describe the female voters over 45 that had supported Clinton in the primary. It was a presentation made to Obama’s campaign after Denver but before the financial meltdown by a pollster who was sympathetic to the Clinton camp. He was talking about the problem that Obama had with that particular demographic, and was warning that Obama could lose the election unless he figured out a way to appeal to those women and he used a phrase that I thought hilarious to describe women such as myself, but I can’t remember it. it wasn’t a typical demographic kind of phrase. It was more a phrase along the line of ” a woman of a certain age” though, obviously, that wasn’t it.

    Does this ring a bell with anyone?

  43. I would suggest that the intent of this group was to help these children, and apparently, in some cases, they allegedly received permission to take some of the children(albeit that in and of itself is insufficient to pass legal muster). I do not, however, believe that this was a case of child abduction . Yes, off course the Haitian Gov has the right to have the children returned, and to investigate the manner surrounding this event, but it seems to me to have been a bad misunderstanding under very difficult circumstances.

  44. Thanks jbstonesfan.

    I agree about the intent, but am confused about how this operation was carried out.

    I really do hope it was just a bad misunderstanding or at worst bad decision-making.

  45. There is some major lying going on one Greta tonight. Finger pointing just like my two grandsons, ages 6 and 7. Sqwabbling like 6 year olds, just what we need right now.

  46. jbstonesfan, This Haiti thing is going to be fuel for the RWN to tear Hillary down. This is all this is about. The clinton’s are both working their asses off and all the RWN can do is call the Clinton, baby killing atheists. I personall am sick of this crap. THe people shouldn’t have gone over with this in mind. I am sure they wouldve given these kids a chance of a lifetime, but they are playing God as they usually do. They think their way is the only way and it is the right way and they don’t give a damn about any one else’s opinion. In their mind they are doing God’s work.

  47. Obama shows rare flash of anger

    Obama Rebukes Boehner In Testy Exchange, Charges GOP Wants To Kill All His Initiatives

    At the private White House meeting today between Obama and Congressional leaders, the President and John Boehner got into a testy exchange, aides say, with Obama charging that the GOP is just out to kill all his initiatives.

    According to aides familiar with the discussion, Boehner made the case that long-term concern over Dem policies — health care, cap and trade — was leading to uncertainty in the private sector, damaging job creation efforts. Boehner said the only way to get the economy moving again is to put these issues behind us.

    That apparently irked the President, aides say, who accused Boehner of just wanting to kill all his initiatives. Boehner shot back that this was false, that Republicans are serious about bipartisan cooperation.

    That prompted the President to push back again, aides say, arguing that the White House isn’t getting enough credit for the part of the stimulus that boosts federal funding for state Medicaid programs, arguing it has had a positive effect on the economy.

    The dispute also spilled over into a discussion of Obama’s proposal for a bipartisan fiscal commission on how to get control over the deficit.

    Obama asked Boehner and Mitch McConnell if they were prepared to commit to appointing members to the commission. Boehner pushed back, aides say, arguing that if the White House is serious about cutting spending, he should should start now, and suggested Obama use his rescissions authority to send spending cut proposals to the Hill.

    Boehner pledged GOP cooperation if Obama sent such proposals to Congress. But he and McConnell refused to commit to appointing members to the commission.

    It’s gonna be a long year.


    Update Robert Gibbs just got in touch to clarify a key nuance. He confirmed there was an exchange over Boehner’s insistence on more certainty for business. But he said it was a bit different than recounted above.

    Gibbs said that Obama responded to Boehner’s point by saying the certainty businesses crave would best be achieved if Dems and Republicans prove that they are capable of working together, if they prove that Washington can be made to work. The President added that Republicans merely want Dems to pledge not to rock the boat and to do nothing on the big issues.

    Boehner, Gibbs says, responded that this wasn’t his argument — that he did in fact want to “settle” these issues. The President replied that by all means, these issues should be settled — by Dems and Republicans working to solve them.

    Gibbs confirmed that the exchange had an edge, though he said the testiest part occured in the back and forth over the debt commission. At any rate, it’s an interesting nuance.


  48. As I said I don’t feel sorry for them, afterall the Branch Divideons thought they were doing Gods work too. This is why I believe in a separation of church and state, otherwise this country could evolve into nothing better than an American Talleban.

  49. Obama considers recess appointments

    By Scott Wilson

    President Obama said Tuesday that he will consider putting some of his nominees in essential jobs without Senate confirmation if Republicans do not end delaying tactics that have held up dozens of his appointments.

    In his unannounced appearance before the White House press corps after meeting with Republican Congressional leaders, Obama said he would “consider making several recess appointments” because “we can’t allow politics to stand in the way of a well-functioning government.”

    Obama made his comments a day after Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced that he was backing away from the controversial “holds” he had placed on more than 70 Obama nominees, including some for positions in national security agencies.

    Shelby placed the holds last week in an attempt to win funding for two programs for his state – an Air Force tanker project and a counter-terrorism center. His office said in a statement that he was releasing “all but a few” of the holds because he had succeeded in “getting the White House attention on two issues that are critical to our national security.”

    Obama, who has made the need for bipartisanship a key rhetorical point this midterm election year, sharply criticized the holds Tuesday without naming Shelby specifically. “In our meeting, I asked the congressional leadership to put a stop to these holds in which nominees for critical jobs are denied a vote for months,” Obama said. “Surely we can set aside partisanship and do what’s traditionally been done to confirm these nominees.”

    Research provided by the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shows that Obama nominees have waited longer for confirmation than Bush administration nominees in the first year. But Congressional Democrats, including Obama when he was a senator, have moved to hold up Republican nominees in the past.

    In 2005, President George W. Bush used a recess appointment to make John R. Bolton the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations after a five-month delay. Democrats opposed the nomination because they believed Bolton was too conservative for the post.

    The Senate must confirm a recess appointment before the end of its term or the position becomes vacant again. Obama did not say whom he might appoint that way, but those awaiting national security posts will likely be first in line.


  50. China would never have considered this move under previous presidents by with Obama they know a boob when they see one:
    China PLA officers urge economic punch against U.S.
    Chris Buckley
    Tue Feb 9, 2010 12:00pm EST
    Related News
    CORRECTED – WRAPUP 6-Obama to meet Dalai Lama despite Chinese warnings
    Wed, Feb 3 2010
    Obama to meet Dalai Lama despite Chinese warnings
    Tue, Feb 2 2010
    WRAPUP 6-Obama to meet Dalai Lama despite Chinese warnings
    Tue, Feb 2 2010
    China warns U.S. on Dalai Lama, says to punish arms firms
    Tue, Feb 2 2010
    U.S. seeks calm as China fumes over Taiwan arms
    Mon, Feb 1 2010

    BEIJING (Reuters) – Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.


    The calls for broad retaliation over the planned U.S. weapons sales to the disputed island came from officers at China’s National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency.

    The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday.

    The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) plays no role in setting policy for China’s foreign exchange holdings. Officials in charge of that area have given no sign of any moves to sell U.S. Treasury bonds over the weapons sales, a move that could alarm markets and damage the value of China’s own holdings.

    While far from representing fixed government policy, the open demands for retaliation by the PLA officers underscored the domestic pressures on Beijing to deliver on its threats to punish the Obama administration over the arms sales.

    “Our retaliation should not be restricted to merely military matters, and we should adopt a strategic package of counter-punches covering politics, military affairs, diplomacy and economics to treat both the symptoms and root cause of this disease,” said Luo Yuan, a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences.

    “Just like two people rowing a boat, if the United States first throws the strokes into chaos, then so must we.”

    Luo said Beijing could “attack by oblique means and stealthy feints” to make its point in Washington.

    “For example, we could sanction them using economic means, such as dumping some U.S. government bonds,” Luo said.

    The warnings from the PLA come after weeks of strains between Washington and Beijing, who have also been at odds over Internet controls and hacking, trade and currency quarrels, and President Barack Obama’s planned meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader reviled by China as a “separatist.”


    Chinese has blasted the United States over the planned $6.4 billion arms package for Taiwan unveiled in late January, saying it will sanction U.S. firms that sell weapons to the self-ruled island that Beijing considers a breakaway province of China.

    China is likely to unveil its official military budget for 2010 next month, when the Communist Party-controlled national parliament meets for its annual session.

    The PLA officers suggested that budget should mirror China’s ire toward Washington.

    “Clearly propose that due to the threat in the Taiwan Sea, we are increasing military spending,” said Luo.

    Last year, the government set the official military budget at 480.7 billion yuan ($70.4 billion), a 14.9 percent rise on the one in 2008, continuing a nearly unbroken succession of double-digit increases over more than two decades.

    The fresh U.S. arms sales threatened Chinese military installations on the mainland coast facing Taiwan, and “this gives us no choice but to increase defense spending and adjust (military) deployments,” said Zhu Chenghu, a major general at China’s National Defence University in Beijing.

    In 2005, Zhu stirred controversy by suggesting China could use nuclear weapons if the United States intervened militarily in a conflict over Taiwan.

    The United States switched official recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979. But the Taiwan Relations Act, passed the same year, guarantees Taiwan a continued supply of defensive weapons.

    China has the world’s biggest pile of foreign currency reserves, much of it held in U.S. treasury debt. China held $798.9 billion in U.S. Treasuries at end-October.

    But any attempt to use that stake against Washington would probably maul the value of China’s own dollar-denominated assets.

    China has condemned previous arms sales, but has taken little action in response to them. But Luo said the country’s growing strength meant that time has passed.

    “China’s attitude and actions over U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan will be increasingly tough,” the magazine cited him as saying. “That is inevitable with rising national strength.”

    (Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

  51. The debt commision is one of the republican ideas, then Obama said OK lets do it, the republicans backed off. I would like to know the real story and truth behind this, not what each side would like for us to believe.

  52. I don’t feel sorry for them Confloyd. I do not , however, think they should be charged with child abduction. They should return these folks to the states and bar them from ever entering Haiti again imo.

  53. confloyd, my understanding is that a debt commission was originally a repub idea, but they wanted everything on the table – including spending cuts. Obama changed it to rule out from the get-go any major spending cuts. Which pretty much leaves nothing but tax increases as an option.

    You may as well, at this point, call it the “how can we get away with increasing taxes commission” rather than a debt commission. And Obama’s aim, by trying to drag them into it with that sort of ridiculous precondition, is to have them on board for political cover when he raises taxes. I don’t blame them for balking. If you can’t discuss both tax hikes AND spending cuts, then you are not being honest about solutions, just trying to use them to cover your ass.

  54. H4T, I think the republicans realize that there is no way to fix this deficit without raising taxes so they rolled over to let the democrats do it for them and now they can hollar about the tax and spend liberals. Its all a game on both sides. Lets all be grownups and tell the truth, if we dont we are going to lose our country.

  55. I just heard O’Reilly say that Bill Clinton got away with stuff for months and Obama get everything he says publicized. Is Bill-o got a crush on Obama??

  56. It is not about Republican and Democrat any longer. It is about anyone who is willing to work to save our country. Yesterday is gone; tomorrow is unsure; and we are destined to leave future generations in debt that is mindboggling and in a country that is less free. This is not what American patriots have shed blood for in the current and past wars; the founding fathers must be rolling in their graves.
    How foolish we have been; will future generations every forgive us for wasting away the hard won freedom that was left for us to keep safe for them?

  57. Tea Party Patriots 2010 Schedule of Events
    Outline of What is to Come in 2010

    * Final Voting on Contract from America Begins: February 18, 2010
    * Recharge the Movement Protests: February 27, 2010
    * Nationwide Screenings of Tea Party Movie: February 27, 2010
    * Tea Party Local Coordinator Training – How to Start a Tea Party
    * Tax Day Tea Parties: April 15, 2010
    * Rollout of Final Contract from America: April 15, 2010
    * Constitutional Educational Training, Founding Principles Bus Tour
    * Activist Educational Training
    * Independence Day Events: July 2 – July 4, 2010
    * AUGUST HEAT – Congressional Town Hall Meetings
    * 912 March on DC: September 12, 2010
    * Get Out the Vote and Voter Education: October – November, 2010
    * ELECTION DAY, Tuesday, November 2, 2010
    * Year-Round grassroots lobbying when legislation arises

    for a lot more details on each above follow the link below


  58. O’Reiley is a tool who shifted much more favorable to Obama once it was clear Obama would win. 99% of his views are anti-democrat, but he thinly tries to hide his partisan agenda by making comments like the one above to show he is “fair and balanced”. The guy is a Clinton hater and a self-righteous, pompous, ass who has made tens of millions of dollars by “watching out for the folks”. O’Reiley, Beck, and Hannity, while anti-Obama, are three of the biggest morons to ever have made it so big. It is a indictment on our country that such jack asses can not only succeed, but thrive in our media today….

  59. jbstones, Agreed, they have made it big on the backs of the working man as much as half the congress. Blood suckers all of them.

  60. …talk about losing control of your message and mixed signals…on the day that O is out there preaching to put an end to ‘petty politics’ and bipartisanship, Gibbs is in the WH Press room making fun of SP with nonsense written on his palm and yuking it up with the WH Press…

    …this from the WH and our so called ‘leaders’…really mature…don’t they have the country’s work to do? how about some jobs instead of more distractions and waste of time…they are worst than frat boys…embarrassing the level they bring the WH down to…

    …at a certain point all this criticism coming from the left towards SP and tea partiers is going to backfire…they just all look so mean spirited…

    …btw…I caught a clip of Andrew Sullivan on Joy Behar’s show – both of them going on and on about SP and her intelligence…this from the guy who is still obsessed with Palin and her child and a big time Bill and Hillary hater…the same guy who has his own personal demons and sex scandals…but that doesn’t phase Behar or Matthews…they give that pig Sullivan air time as if he is so above it all…the hypocrisy of these people knows no limits…

  61. The senate panel rejected obama’s nominee to the NLRB vacancy. This was a political pay-off to the SEIU. The nominee himself is an ideologue. The union he came from is corrupt. This is the right result for the country.

    The Senate blocked President Obama’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday, as Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican-led filibuster.

    Two Democrats, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, broke with their party to vote against Craig Becker in the key procedural vote, which failed 52-33.

    The vote also was significant for displaying the GOP’s newfound muscle, as it came days after Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts was sworn in as the newest senator, breaking the Democrats’ 60-vote supermajority — though the measure would have failed even without Brown’s help, given Lincoln’s and Nelson’s no votes.

    Republicans have held up Becker’s confirmation for months. They say Becker would push an aggressive union agenda at the agency that referees labor disputes between unions and management.

    Brown said Tuesday he couldn’t vote in favor of Becker.

    “My first priority in coming to Washington is to create jobs and put people back to work,” he said in a written statement. “Craig Becker’s theories about how the workplace should function, if ever put into practice, would impose new burdens on employers, hurt job creation and slow down the recovery.”

    On Monday night, Nelson had announced he would join the filibuster, a rare move for the conservative Nebraska Democrat, who is fond of saying that having been a governor responsible for choosing his own nominees, he gives great leeway toward a president’s choices.

    Only in “extraordinary circumstances” does Nelson join a filibuster, he said, a defining phrase that arose from a 2005 judicial nominations impasse.

    Many Republicans say they believe Becker has his own agenda when it comes to so-called “card check” legislation, a proposal that would make it easier for workers to unionize. Nelson said he agrees.

    This legislation has been stalled since it was first proposed. Sen Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, is the point man for finding a compromise, working with Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvnia and others.

    Nelson has said he is opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act, the formal name for the bill.

    “Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the administration,” Nelson said.

    “In addition, the nominee’s statements fly in the face of Nebraska’s Right to Work laws, which have been credited in part with our excellent business climate that has attracted employers and many good jobs to Nebraska,” he continued. “Considering these matters, I will oppose the upcoming cloture motion and the nomination.”

    The five-member National Labor Relations Board is responsible for deciding cases under the National Labor Relations Act.

  62. Obama is in trouble over the rejection of his health care deform bill. He tried to ram it down the throats of the American People and they spit it back in his face. When you have tried a power play and failed as he has the wind goes out of your sails. You primary objective is to get off the mat and back into a power position against your adversary. If your adversary is smart he does not throw a life ring to someone who just tried to knife him.

    Apropos of this Obama is now making noises about meeting the GOP half way, being open to starting over. In fact, AP just posted an article conveying a faux interest in solving the problem. As with other AP articles, this one was written by the White House and was taken right off their talking points as if it were by AP. Obama is a backstabber so the Republicans must not let him up off the mat. They should submit the agenda, and it should include a cap on medical malpractice awards and attorney fees. How I would love to see him throw that group under the bus where they belong.

  63. Bill Clinton is working to get the Hatian children issue resolved. He has said so in so many Clinton words in a few articles a few days ago. I think a deal has been worked out for all but the leader of that little group.

  64. Here is that article. It is pure propaganda and it originated in the White House press room. Notice how they try to paint Obama as different from Bill Clinton in that Clinton waved the veto pen whereas Obama has shown that wonderful willingness to meet his adversary half way. This is how they promote their propaganda that he will not suffer the same fate as Bill did at mid term election. Notice the phony poll as well by WashPo and ABC which are known Obama shills. The Republicans should respond in the manner previously discussed. They should be friendly and photogenic and not give him any victory. Instead, they should focus on the areas they believe are important to Americans and give Obama no quarter.

    Obama Says He’ll Meet GOP ‘Halfway’ on Health


    The president tries to change the dynamic, indicating he could settle for less in order to move ahead.

    print email share recommend (0)

    Feb. 9: President Obama gestures during a press conference in the White House. (AP)

    WASHINGTON — Signaling he’d meet critics part way on health care, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he’s willing to sign a bill even if it doesn’t deliver everything he pursued through a year of grinding effort at risk of going down as a dismal failure.

    The Democrats’ massive health overhaul legislation is stalled in Congress by disagreements within the party and the loss last month of their 60th Senate vote, and with it, control of the agenda. Republicans suspect that Obama’s invitation to a televised health care summit Feb. 25 is a thinly disguised political trap. On Tuesday, the president tried to change the dour dynamic, indicating he could settle for less in order to move ahead.

    “Let’s put the best ideas on the table,” Obama told reporters after meeting with congressional leaders of both parties. “My hope is that we can find enough overlap that we can say, this is the right way to move forward, even if I don’t get every single thing that I want.”

    Obama’s overarching goals are to rein in medical costs and expand coverage to millions of uninsured. Specifically, Obama said he’d be willing to work on ways to limit medical malpractice lawsuits — one of the main ideas Republicans have for reducing costs, by addressing the problem of defensive medicine. Democrats, who count trial lawyers among their most generous contributors, especially in an election year, have blocked all previous attempts to tackle the issue.

    “I’m willing to move off some of the preferences of my party, in order to meet them halfway, Obama said. “But there’s got to be some give from their side as well.”

    Obama’s flexibility marks a contrast with the approach former President Bill Clinton took in the 1990s when his health care overhaul got bogged down in Congress. Clinton sternly waved his veto pen at lawmakers and threatened to reject any legislation that fell short of his goal of covering all Americans. The bill died, and Democrats lost control of Congress in the 1994 midterm election.

    Still, Republican leaders expressed renewed skepticism about Obama’s call for bipartisanship and reiterated their demand that Obama jettison the Democratic bills and start from scratch.

    “It’s going to be very difficult to have a bipartisan conversation with regard to a 2,700-page health care bill that the Democrat majority in the House and the Democrat majority in the Senate can’t pass,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner. “It really is time to scrap the bill and start over.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell echoed those sentiments, even though the White House says Obama has no plans to set the clock back to beginning.

    But even Obama’s fellow Democrats are expressing skepticism about what the summit can accomplish. Sen. Chris Dodd, who shepherded the legislation through the Senate’s health committee, said the GOP has had plenty of chances to offer input, and Republicans and Democrats know each others’ positions so well that “this meeting could occur an hour from now.”

    “We could play each others’ hands, that’s how much familiarity we’ve had with this issue,” Dodd said. “This idea we all don’t know what the other side wants, there isn’t a person left around here” who doesn’t, Dodd said.

    Republicans may run political risks if they just say no. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that most Americans want Congress and the president to keep working on a comprehensive health care overhaul. Two-thirds supported the goal in the survey, released Tuesday. Nearly 6 in 10 said Republicans aren’t doing enough to find compromise with Obama, while more than 4 in 10 said Obama is doing too little to get GOP support.

    Obama said he’s not interested in starting over on health care, with five congressional committees holding new rounds of hearings and bill-drafting sessions.

    “What I don’t think makes sense — and I don’t think the American people want to see — would be another year of partisan wrangling around these issues,” he said.

    But he said he’s open to “starting from scratch” as long as three major goals are met: reducing costs, curbing insurance company practices such as coverage denials, and expanding coverage to millions of people who buy their own policies or work for a small employer.

    “I will be open to any ideas that help promote these goals,” Obama said.

    If lawmakers can’t overcome partisanship and policy differences and the health care bill dies as a result, Obama said the alternative is not good. He pointed to a 39 percent premium hike just announced by California’s largest for-profit seller of individual health insurance policies, Anthem Blue Cross. Insurers say part of the problem is that healthy people hit by the economic downturn are dropping coverage, raising premiums for everybody else left in the pool.

    “If we don’t act, this is just a preview of coming attractions,” Obama said. “Premiums will continue to rise for folks with insurance, millions more will lose their coverage altogether, our deficits will continue to grow larger.”

    Although Republicans have cast Obama’s approach as a big-government power grab, a report by government economic experts last week found that even without health care overhaul, government programs will soon be paying slightly more than half the nation’s health care tab. The reason? Private insurance coverage is shrinking because of the economy, while Medicare and Medicaid are growing.

    Some Republican activists worry that the summit is designed to portray their health care proposals as thin. A shaky GOP showing could embolden congressional Democrats to make a final, aggressive push to overhaul health care, with or without any Republican votes.

    The House’s top two Republican leaders have openly questioned Obama’s sincerity and hinted they might skip the meeting.

    Others in the GOP sounded more positive. “It could be a serious, constructive endeavor and hopefully it will be,” moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe said Tuesday.

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  65. Snow is the weak link in any chain.

    She is auditioning for the Obama Girl role.

    But I doubt she will get the part.

    For some inexplicable reason.

  66. A magnitude 4.3 earthquake hit northern Illinois early Wednesday morning.

    The quake struck at 3:59 a.m. in Sycamore in DeKalb County. The quake could be felt as far away as Chicago… 50 miles from the epicenter.


    It won’t be the only earthquake hitting illinois this year and frankly, it if knocked down the southside of Chicago, it probably would improve the place.

  67. Former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder–a big supporter of Obama– is now voicing his own criticism of the Administration. However, instead of putting the blame where it belongs–the man in charge, he invokes the old standby excuse that Barack is without original sin. The problem is his staff. They are the ones responsible for his decline.

    By staff he means Axelrod, Emanuel, Jarrett and Gibbs. The inner circle of advisors. The people Obama trusts and relies on for his advice and counsel. Also, he means the Chicago boys who have taken over the west wing. The 51st ward in Washington DC as Lynn Sweet has described them.

    Let us be clear on who Wilder is and what his motivations are. First, Wilder is a race baiting extortionist. On that point the record speaks for itself. He is the one who looked the camera in the eye and threatened the DNC that if Obama was not given the nomination there would be riots in Denver. Burn baby burn. Second, he knows Obama is in trouble. Therefore, he reaches for an excuse which absolves both Obama and his own misjudgent. It is the staff, rather than the personality flaws and lack of experience of the man who hired them. Third, he knows Obama will not do this because these people put him in there and they are his security blanket. Therefore, the excuse will give Wilder continuing cover–he hopes.

    Doug Wilder: Obama needs a staff shakeup

    TAGS: Douglas Wilder, Ideas

    By L. DOUGLAS WILDER | 2/9/10 1:59 PM EST
    Text Size-+reset

    Digg this Story!Buzz it up!Add to LinkedIn

    No high hopes for health care summit
    Reid says jobs bill still not done
    McConnell plan: Divide and conquer

    During the 2008 campaign, I strongly endorsed Barack Obama for president. I did so early, when many Democratic leaders — including many prominent African-American politicians — believed the safe bet was to back then-front-runner Hillary Clinton.

    I backed Obama not because of skin color but because he convincingly made the case that he stood for “change” that this country needs. Now, across many fronts — in public policy and politics alike — people have rightly been questioning whether the change has been for the better. Unfortunately, the answer so far is clear: not yet.

    I still believe Obama can stand for positive change. But first he must make some hard changes of his own.

    The need is becoming more obvious by the day: He must overhaul his own team, replacing the admittedly brilliant advisers who helped elect him with others more capable of helping him govern. Getting elected and getting things done for the people are two different jobs.

    I am an admirer of Tim Kaine, whom I backed in his current position as one of my successors as Virginia governor and even recommended for the vice presidency. But a spate of recent losses in races that Democrats should have won underscores what has been obvious to me for a long time: The chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee is the wrong job for him.

    The changes must go much deeper. Obama’s West Wing is filled with people who are in their jobs because of their Chicago connections or because they signed on with Obama early during his presidential campaign.

    One problem is that they do not have sufficient experience at governing at the executive branch level. The deeper problem is that they are not listening to the people.

    Hearing is one thing; listening is another.

    Some are even questioning whether Obama has forgotten how he got elected and the promises he made to the people who elected him.

    Don’t take my word for any of this. Look at the clear message the American people have been sending at the polls these past few months.

    In my native Virginia, voters went to the polls and turned the Democrats out of the Executive Mansion with more votes and by a higher percentage than had ever happened since we ended one-party government rule 50 years ago. I told the president that this could very well happen and did not support his candidate.

    (Note: there is two more pages of this crap at Politico, but you get the drift. Blame the sun, blame the moon, blame the stars, and by all means blame whitey, but do not blame Barack and do not blame me. We are without original sin.)

  68. What a bunch of garbage!


    Goldstone co-author: Hamas fired ‘something like two’ rockets before Gaza war

    By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondent

    A co-author of the Goldstone Gaza report, which accuses both Hamas and Israel of war crimes, claims the Gaza militant group fired only two rockets at Israel prior to last year’s winter conflict, according to a new report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

    The center, headed by Dore Gold, former Israel Ambassador to the UN, revealed the report at a press conference on Wednesday.

    The report refers to recent remarks made by Desmond Travers, a retired Irish army colonel, who was one of four members of the fact-finding mission to Gaza and Israel.

    Travers rejects the idea that Israel launched the offensive in Gaza on December 27, 2008, as an act of self-defense in response to Hamas rockets.

    The Jerusalem center report says he bases this idea on a “fact” that he presents that in the month prior to start of the war, only “something like two” rockets that fell on Israel.

    The report quotes an extensive interview with Travers in the Middle East Monitor, in which he also says that Hamas had sought “a continuation of the cease-fire” prior to Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

    Travers also rejects Israel Defense Forces photographs as proof that Hamas hid weapons in mosques during the conflict.

    “I do not believe the photographs,” Travers said, describing the IDF evidence as “spurious.”

    Travers also criticized Israel’s past presence in Southern Lebanon, asserting that Israeli soldiers had “taken out and deliberately shot” Irish peacekeeping forces in the area.

    He accused “Jewish lobbyists” of influencing British foreign policy in the Middle East and said that efforts to block the Goldstone reports findings have failed.

    “The court of world opinion seems determined to see the report prevail,” he said.


  69. McCain faces Senate threat:
    Ex-congressman J.D. Hayworth seeks Arizona seat

    February 10, 2010

    First John McCain lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, humbling enough for a politician who had spent a decade pursuing his White House ambitions.

    Now the Arizona senator is in jeopardy of losing his U.S. Senate seat amid a challenge from within his own party ahead of this fall’s midterm elections.

    McCain, a self-styled maverick who has never been a darling of the American right, is preparing for an unexpected primary election battle against a former GOP congressman who has the backing of members of the anti-establishment Tea Party movement.

    J.D. Hayworth, who served from 1995 to 2007 in the House of Representatives, will formally announce next week that he’ll seek to wrest the GOP nomination from McCain.

    “This is perhaps the most serious threat that McCain has faced in his entire congressional career,” says Rodolfo Espino, a political scientist at Arizona State University. “He has never been seriously challenged before – either in primary challenges or general election challenges.”

    Hayworth was once a McCain ally, campaigning for the Arizona senator in 2000 when he ran against George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination. But Hayworth has earned statewide recognition over the past two years in Arizona as a right-wing radio talk show host, frequently criticizing McCain for his past support of immigration reform, highlighting his votes against Bush-era tax cuts and casting him as weak on terror by opposing controversial interrogation techniques against terror suspects.

    “The John McCain I supported for president in 2000 is not the same John McCain I’ve watched frustrate conservatives time and again as our senator,” Hayworth wrote last week on a conservative website.


  70. Sorry, I misstated something above. Bambi is not willing to throw out the health care deform bill. He wants to negotiate off his own proposal. That is a negotiation ploy, as I mentioned earlier. It should be rejected and a counterproposal should be offered up by the Republicans. I continue to believe they should not participate in this health care dog and pony show. It benefits him in the sense that it cures his breach of a campaign promise. Also, it allows him to put the burden of proof on the Republicans with the help of big media. My response to this overture would be to point out that he had the opportunity to televise the negotiations with big pharma over c-span before, Brian Lamb even asked, and now that the American People have spoken we are beyond that point. We do not need dog and pony shows now. We need to take this deformed bill off the table and address the specific issues that drive cost and deny coverage. Those include tort reform, portability, covering the uninsured possibly through stimulus money, prevention and the like. And congress not lobbyists should write the bill. Unfortunately, that is not what Bambi has in mind. Because he has no aptitude for governing he would rather fail and blame it on the Republicans than succeed in an incremental way to actually solve the problems.

  71. “This is perhaps the most serious threat that McCain has faced in his entire congressional career,” says Rodolfo Espino, a political scientist at Arizona State University. “He has never been seriously challenged before – either in primary challenges or general election challenges.
    Jan–that is very true. Arizona has a huge problem with illegal immigration, especially now since their economy collapsed. Hayworth is a hawk and McCain is a dove on that issue. I do not know what skeletons Hayworth has in his closet, but you can be relatively sure that McCain’s people will be looking for them. Personally, I think McCain has outlived his usefulness.

  72. This is the expose on Richadson in NM


    It appears that he has placed a number of people in high paying jobs which seem to be created jobs (qualifications quesstionable). He also has made some job exempt from reduction in force. These jobs are in the $80K range, and people have been moved around, and all of a sudden appear in these new areas. Having seen some of this, it does not surprise me. What is interesting is they leave his personnel life alone.

    The state is trying to balance it budget, and would appear that some of this money could come from eliminating the political waste. Remember this is the state where the people employed have their bonuses tied to how much they support Richardson, not how well they perform the job. But then if the job is just a title, it would appear that supporting Richardson is their main focus.

  73. Your stimulus dollars at work. Creating more jobs……. for the Chinese.

    New Wind Farms in the U.S. Do Not Bring Jobs
    ………………..So Where Are the Jobs?
    “Most of the jobs are going overseas,” said Russ Choma at the Investigative Reporting Workshop. He analyzed which foreign firms had accepted the most stimulus money. “According to our estimates, about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas, and maybe a couple hundred have been created in the U.S.”

    This makes me furious. It’s bad enough that more jobs are going overseas, just by itself, but WE PAID FOR IT. OUR fucking tax dollars funded more jobs for China.

    And people wonder why the Tea Party movement grows? Yeah, yeah, they are wrong on so much. But can anyone really blame them for saying that’s it, I don’t trust these fools with another dime?
    It’s a tough argument to make that you need the car keys and $100 to go get groceries for the family, when the last few times we gave that to you, you went joyriding down on the avenue and bought crack. It gets a lot more difficult to argue that refusal means you don’t care if the family eats.

    By this time in Bill’s administration, he’d successfully bought a modest couple of gallons of milk and some bread. People were confident in handing him the keys for more.


  74. H4T, China’s economy is expanding at 10.7 from the green jobs we were supposed to get. I knew this months ago. Those globalist crooks are getting richer and not doing anything for the middleclass here.

  75. wbboei, This can’t be good! We are letting China set our foreign policy and tell who we can sell our arms too. This smells, just like the Toyota deal does. China is getting very high handed. Its time to close down WALMART!

    BEIJING (Reuters) – Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.


    The calls for broad retaliation over the planned U.S. weapons sales to the disputed island came from officers at China’s National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency.

    The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday.

    The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) plays no role in setting policy for China’s foreign exchange holdings. Officials in charge of that area have given no sign of any moves to sell U.S. Treasury bonds over the weapons sales, a move that could alarm markets and damage the value of China’s own holdings.

    While far from representing fixed government policy, the open demands for retaliation by the PLA officers underscored the domestic pressures on Beijing to deliver on its threats to punish the Obama administration over the arms sales.

    “Our retaliation should not be restricted to merely military matters, and we should adopt a strategic package of counter-punches covering politics, military affairs, diplomacy and economics to treat both the symptoms and root cause of this disease,” said Luo Yuan, a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences.

    “Just like two people rowing a boat, if the United States first throws the strokes into chaos, then so must we.”

    Luo said Beijing could “attack by oblique means and stealthy feints” to make its point in Washington.

    “For example, we could sanction them using economic means, such as dumping some U.S. government bonds,” Luo said.

    The warnings from the PLA come after weeks of strains between Washington and Beijing, who have also been at odds over Internet controls and hacking, trade and currency quarrels, and President Barack Obama’s planned meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader reviled by China as a “separatist.”


    Chinese has blasted the United States over the planned $6.4 billion arms package for Taiwan unveiled in late January, saying it will sanction U.S. firms that sell weapons to the self-ruled island that Beijing considers a breakaway province of China.

    China is likely to unveil its official military budget for 2010 next month, when the Communist Party-controlled national parliament meets for its annual session.

    The PLA officers suggested that budget should mirror China’s ire toward Washington.

    “Clearly propose that due to the threat in the Taiwan Sea, we are increasing military spending,” said Luo.

    Last year, the government set the official military budget at 480.7 billion yuan ($70.4 billion), a 14.9 percent rise on the one in 2008, continuing a nearly unbroken succession of double-digit increases over more than two decades.

    The fresh U.S. arms sales threatened Chinese military installations on the mainland coast facing Taiwan, and “this gives us no choice but to increase defense spending and adjust (military) deployments,” said Zhu Chenghu, a major general at China’s National Defence University in Beijing.

    In 2005, Zhu stirred controversy by suggesting China could use nuclear weapons if the United States intervened militarily in a conflict over Taiwan.

    The United States switched official recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979. But the Taiwan Relations Act, passed the same year, guarantees Taiwan a continued supply of defensive weapons.

    China has the world’s biggest pile of foreign currency reserves, much of it held in U.S. treasury debt. China held $798.9 billion in U.S. Treasuries at end-October.

    But any attempt to use that stake against Washington would probably maul the value of China’s own dollar-denominated assets.

    China has condemned previous arms sales, but has taken little action in response to them. But Luo said the country’s growing strength meant that time has passed.

    “China’s attitude and actions over U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan will be increasingly tough,” the magazine cited him as saying. “That is inevitable with rising national strength

  76. This makes me furious. It’s bad enough that more jobs are going overseas, just by itself, but WE PAID FOR IT. OUR fucking tax dollars funded more jobs for China.
    I agree. It should make everyone furious. But it calls to mind Obama’s promise during the campaign–to spread the wealth of the middle class. That is consistent with the Soros. Soros believes that America consumes too much of the world’s resources, believes we should step down as the leader of the world, and give that role to China.

    Soros think tanks devised the Dean Plan to install a charismatic leader whom he and his associates could control. Soros money (Wolf et al) launched Obama’s career.

    The Soros agenda of: 1. stimulus, 2. regulation of US markets by international bodies, 3. cap and trade, 4. government controlled health care, 5. open borders, 6. submission to China.

    Not surprisingly, Obama is pursuing the Soros agenda at the expense of the middle class. If Obama succeeds, it will be a race to the bottom.

  77. wbboei, This can’t be good! We are letting China set our foreign policy and tell who we can sell our arms too. This smells, just like the Toyota deal does. China is getting very high handed. Its time to close down WALMART!
    This is part and parcel of the Obama strategy. Impose crushing debt on the American People and subjugate our nation to international bankers and China. Henry Ford was the first to identify this as a political strategy. From Obama;s standpoint the goal is to create the welfare state which is wholly dependent of the political class. Also, he will weaken our military. When our strategic interests clash, China will reach for the club. Obama is determined to give them a bigger one. In that sense he is the perfect Manchurian Candidate.

  78. wbboei, Certainly we are being submissive to China. That is what pisses me off. Both sides are responsible for being in debt to China.

  79. Walmart has come to our little town and there are the only grocery store. I am thinking of boycotting their products. Its Walmart that keeps China going. I think even the tires I buy are from CHina. China wants to punish us, I think we can punish them even worse. If this goes viral and the American people are as appalled as I am. We could have real power against China.

  80. Funny isn’t it? A couple weeks ago, Bambi was making populist noises. Now he is back on the sugar tit. This guy Dimon has a big hook into Obama. Perhaps that has something to do with his looking the other way on this one. Or perhaps he was never serious about reining in big banks in the first place. Under Obama it is a government of the elites, by the elites and for the elites. He treats the life savings of ordinary Americans and the debt burden he is imposing on future generations as his private piggy bank. Rezko redux–reward insiders and screw constituents. As far as the perception that he is anti business, the truth is he is anti small business. He is just fine with global cartels and so is Soros.
    Obama Doesn’t ‘Begrudge’ Bonuses for ‘Savvy’ Blankfein, Dimon
    Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A
    By Julianna Goldman and Ian Katz

    Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.

    The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”

    “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”

    Obama sought to combat perceptions that his administration is anti-business and trumpeted the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies. He plans to reiterate that message when he speaks to the Business Roundtable, which represents the heads of many of the biggest U.S. companies, on Feb. 24 in Washington.

    Blankfein and Dimon took their bonuses in stock rather than cash, which Obama encouraged other corporations to do. Such compensation, he said, “requires proven performance over a certain period of time as opposed to quarterly earnings.” He said that’s a “fairer way of measuring CEO success and ultimately will make the performance of American businesses better.”

    Record Profits

    His comments come just days after 2009 bonus packages were announced for Dimon and Blankfein. Dimon, 53, led New York-based JPMorgan, the second-biggest U.S. bank, to a profit during each quarter of the financial crisis. Blankfein, 55, was at the helm when New York-based Goldman’s shares doubled last year as profit soared to a record high. The two banks were among those that repaid the bailout money they received from the federal government during the financial crisis.

    Obama said compensation packages over the last decade haven’t always been commensurate with performance and reiterated his call for shareholders to have a say in CEO pay.

    “That serves as a restraint and helps align performance with pay,” he said. “Shareholders oftentimes have not had any significant say in the pay structures for CEOs.”

    Compensation Master

    Blankfein’s payment of 58,381 restricted stock units, valued at $9 million at the Feb. 5 closing price of $154.16, compares with the Wall Street record $67.9 million he received in 2007. Dimon, who got a $27.8 million bonus for 2007 and a $1 million salary for 2008, received restricted stock units and options and no cash bonus for last year.

    Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman for JPMorgan, said the company would have no comment. Lucas van Praag, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, also declined to comment.

    The Obama administration named Kenneth Feinberg special master on executive compensation in June after a political outcry over bonuses paid to employees at American International Group Inc.

    Feinberg, 64, ordered the seven companies whose pay he supervised, including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., to emphasize long-term stock compensation rather than cash payments. Citigroup and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America repaid their federal bailout funds in December, leaving Feinberg with five companies, including AIG, under his supervision.

    Heeding ‘Prescriptions’

    Feinberg told Bloomberg Television on Feb. 8 that Goldman Sachs heeded his “prescriptions” even as he called Blankfein’s $9 million total pay excessive. “I don’t believe there are more than one or two” executives making as much among the 700 he has had under his jurisdiction, Feinberg said.

    Goldman Sachs said in December that the top 30 employees would receive all their year-end incentive pay in stock that they can’t sell for five years. Blankfein’s bonus, which he gets on top of his $600,000 salary, is subject to that restriction.

  81. wbboei, Certainly we are being submissive to China. That is what pisses me off. Both sides are responsible for being in debt to China
    What happened in the past in water under the bridge. The American People hired Obama to solve problems rather than make excuses. We cannot reverse history. The best we can do is make the right moves now to ameliorate the situation. Obama lacks the will and capacity to govern. Regrettably, he is a portrait of failure in office.

  82. wbboei, I think the Bambi/Soros plan is to get rid of small business in America and give all that work to the chinese and then put everyone that is hireable on the govt. tit. Those who aren’t will be on govt. assistance at a way smaller rate than it is right now.

    Zbig and Soros love the Chinese and love their business plan. I know they surely love the way they treat their workers. You work until you drop dead.

  83. A question we should be asking at this point is whether it is in the national interest of this country to be making arms sales to Taiwan, or whether it is driven mainly by the military industrial complex. I have talked to people with expertise in this area and they tell me that there is a continuing fight within the Chinese leadership between the civilian leadership and the People’s Liberation Army. Our policy should be tilted toward weakening the PLA and strengthening the civilian leadership. Arms sales to Taiwan have the reverse effect. Yet because it is big business, Obama continues to do it, even thought the balance of power between the US and China has shifted dramatically during the intervening years.

  84. wbboei@10:30, Thats why we need to look at each candidates voting history. We need to make no one gets re-elected that sold us out to China. I not sure I want any Rino’s or Dino’s, the hard left is out and so is the far right, so who does that leave????

  85. I think the Carlyle group is the military complex, its the Bush/Cheney group which Obama keeps helping. IF people would only realize how important the next two elections are, but I am worried they’ll select another american idol.

  86. Jan–thanks for the heads up on the riverdaughter piece. The conclusion was particularly good. I attended two high dollar fundraiser for Hillary in October 2007. She warned the group that there would be trouble ahead, and said she was very worried about the fate of the American People. She said she was not worried about the people in that room, but for ordinary people who would bear the brunt. She wanted to bring the best people in business and community leadership into all aspects of her presidency to make sure everyone got through the storm safely.

    Interestingly enough, the elites saw that same storm coming and their own thought was to get into a lifeboat called the dingy Obama, let the ship go down with go down with the American People on board, and steal the watches and jewelry from their bodies. Simply put, the elites who installed Obama have not covered themselves with glory. On the contrary, they have weakened the party and ultimately the country.

    Well, enough on that. Riverdaughter is more a little more charitable than I am. Just a little.
    “They’ve got people actually believing that it’s not Obama’s fault that the country is the way it is and he can’t do anything about it. He inherited this mess. He didn’t make it messy. It was BUUUUUSHH!

    Yeah, like we didn’t see that coming. It’s the reason why we didn’t want Obama in the first place. We preferred the lady engineer who at least knew which mechanisms of government to push to get things done and looked like she read the papers and did her homework.

    And it’s not Obama’s fault? Please. This is the job he wanted. We all knew before he ran that the country was going to be a train wreck. The Des Moines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton back in December of 2007 because they knew it was going to be a train wreck. He inherited a train wreck and he knew it going in.

    If he didn’t think he could do the job, he shouldn’t have run. And Democrats who had been accurately predicting disaster for years during the Bush administration should have known better and not voted for him or promoted him and CERTAINLY shouldn’t be making excuses for him now. Stop ignoring the ugly facts! It is a recipe for failure.

    This is the real world in 4 dimensions with real people’s lives at stake. It is not a game.

  87. JanH

    You are limited to two four year consecutive terms. He got re-elected before the 2008 Primary and Presidental stuff. He went against Hillary after that. LTG Diane Denish, a stuanch HRC supporter will run for the next 4 year term; however, a number of Rep are coming out against her. They think in this new environment they can beat her. It really upsets me how HRC supporter are getting hurt in all of this.

    Richardson is not a native, and played the game long enought to get two terms, and then run for President and betray HRC. We don’t think he will stay in the state. In fact a lot of people cannot wait until he leaves.

    He is one of those people that can keep people fooled for only so long. We now know the read Judas Richardson.

  88. Excerp of Gates talking about working with Hillary…

    Exclusive: Defense Secretary Robert Gates ‘On the Record’, Part 2
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now part two of your interview with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Rome, Italy. Secretary Gates gives you the inside story on working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of dealing with all these worldly problems, they’re obviously political problems and military problems, how do you work with the State Department on all these? Historically the State Department and Defense Department have been a little at odds.

    ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I would say that’s an understatement.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I didn’t know how to say it politely. You got the big budget, though, compared to the State Department. How is the State Department and the Defense Department working together now?

    GATES: I think it starts with attitude. And I think that it is important to recognize that the secretary of state is the principle spokesperson for American foreign policy, and Department of Defense and our capabilities are in support of that, in support of the president and in support of the secretary of state.

    And I had a very good relationship with secretary rice. I have a very good relationship with Secretary Clinton. I’ve seen things that have State Department and people in the Pentagon each saying independently saying, career people saying the cooperation has never been better. I think we understand we can’t win in Afghanistan without the civilian component. We understood in Iraq that civilian component was important.

    I think PhD dissertations should be written about the relationship between Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus, because it is a model of a relationship between the senior civilian and the senior military officer.

    So I think in all these dimensions and our understanding the value of trying to prevent conflicts from happening rather than us having to send troops in after they’ve already taken place. And so building the capabilities, both civilian and military, of governments around the world who are our friends and partners is key, and we’ve got to cooperate to do that.

    VAN SUSTEREN: So how do you do that, how do you build a relationship with the State Department? Do you and Secretary of State Clinton meet often, talk often?

    GATES: It is a tone at the top thing for sure, because if the two people at the top don’t get along it absolutely radiates down through the bureaucracy.

    And it’s going back to the Bush administration when I was director of CIA and Larry Eagleburger was deputy secretary and then secretary of state. People knew that Eagleburger and I along and we talked all the time and we were friends, and that trying to get us to fight with each other was not career enhancing. And once you send that message, then it really does begin to radiate. So we talk all the time, Secretary Clinton and I talk all the time on a secure phone, we have lunch together regularly, just the two of us, no staff. And we get together regularly once a week with General Jones at the White House so the three of us are linked up.

    continued at:


  89. NMF,

    Thanks for the explanation. I hope he does leave when his time is up. Either that or be forced to leave early for corruption.

  90. UK government forced to disclose U.S. torture allegations

    LONDON (Reuters) – The British government failed on Wednesday in a legal challenge to keep secret U.S. intelligence material relating to allegations of “cruel and inhuman” treatment involving the CIA.

    London’s Court of Appeal rejected a request by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to prevent senior judges from disclosing seven paragraphs of information relating to the case of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed.

    Miliband had argued that full disclosure could lead to reduced intelligence-sharing with the United States and prejudice Britain’s national security.

    Mohamed, an Ethiopian national and British resident, was arrested in Pakistan in April 2002. He says he was then flown to Morocco on a CIA plane and held for 18 months, during which he says he was repeatedly tortured, including having his penis cut with a knife. Morocco has denied holding him. He was transferred to Afghanistan in 2004 and later moved to Guantanamo Bay, U.S. authorities have said. He was never charged and returned to Britain in February 2009.

    London’s High Court ruled in 2008 that the British government must disclose all evidence held against Mohamed but excluded seven sensitive paragraphs supplied by U.S. intelligence services.


    Judges later said the United States had threatened to end intelligence cooperation if the evidence of alleged torture was released. But last October, two High Court judges ruled there was “an overwhelming public interest” in releasing the details, a decision upheld by the Appeal Court on Wednesday, Britain’s Press Association reported. The seven redacted paragraphs refer to interviews conducted by U.S. officials in which it was reported that Mohamed was shackled and subjected to sleep deprivation, threats and inducements.

    “Although it is not necessary for us to categorize the treatment reported, it could be readily contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities,” the now public judgment said.

    Miliband said the Appeal Court would have upheld the “control principle” — that no country should disclose intelligence from another without its agreement — had the substance of the paragraphs not already been put into the public domain by a U.S. court judgment in a separate case in December. “Without that disclosure, it is clear that the Court of Appeal would have overturned the Divisional Court’s decision to publish the material,” Miliband said in a statement.

    The Foreign Office said Miliband had spoken to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday to notify her of the court’s impending decision and they had “reaffirmed the importance of the U.S./UK intelligence relationship.”

    A spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain stood “firmly against torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and obviously we don’t condone, collude, encourage or solicit it.”

    Human rights campaigners said the government had gone to great lengths to conceal torture and the Foreign Office had been primarily concerned with saving face.

    “These embarrassing paragraphs reveal nothing of use to terrorists but they do show something of the UK government’s complicity with the most shameful part of the War on Terror,” said Shami Chakrabati, Director of Liberty, the British human rights campaign group.


  91. #
    February 9th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I hate to tell Michelle Obama, when folks are out of work they eat low priced fattier foods. So her tackling childhood obesity while her husband dallies with the jobs problem is stupid. We need jobs, jobs, and more jobs so we can afford to buy quality foods for our children to combat Childhood obesity.

    I’d love to have her drive into the inner cities and tell them that they should provide their kids high protein foods (lean steak, lobster, shrimp, salmon) and expensive veggies (arugula, frisse, endive, escarole) and healthy grains, legumes, and pulses, and have them reply: “What??? First of all, let me show you my pay check. And second, what the hell is a legume and a pulse?”

  92. JanH
    February 9th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Obama shows rare flash of anger

    Obama Rebukes Boehner In Testy Exchange, Charges GOP Wants To Kill All His Initiatives

    When Obama was thinking about running for presidentin 2007, did have ANY inkling of an idea that it was a very demanding job that requires a thick skin? And that it involves a constant test of wills with members of the opposite party, members of your own party with their own factions, and foreing adverseries and allies?

    Or did he just kind of glaze over that and think, “PRESIDENT…. BARACK….OBAMA. Wow.”?

    Yeah, it had to be the latter.



    2010 Elections: Republicans are in the Hunt
    Ahead of Midterms, Doubts About Obama, Economic Discontent Lead to GOP Rise

    Feb. 10, 2010

    The Republican Party has grown dramatically more competitive in public trust to handle the country’s most pressing issues, capitalizing on seething economic discontent and doubt about President Obama’s performance to challenge the Democrats in midterm election preferences.

    Among registered voters in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, 48 percent say they’d support the Republican candidate in their congressional district if the midterm elections were today, 45 percent the Democrat. That’s a rare level of GOP support in nearly three decades of polls.

    Other measures also have tightened sharply since fall. Among all Americans, the Democrats’ lead in trust to handle the country’s main problems has dwindled to a slim 6 points, 43-37 percent, down from 33 points – a record in a generation of polls – after Barack Obama’s election.

    Disapproval of Congress, at 71 percent, matches its highest since 1994, when the GOP swept to control in a midterm rout of the Democrats. Americans by a 20-point margin say they’re inclined to look around for someone new to support for Congress. And by a 13-point margin, 48 to 35 percent, Americans call themselves anti-incumbent rather than pro-incumbent – not quite the levels in 1994 or 2006 (when the Democrats regained control) but broad nonetheless.

    Economy Drives Anti-Incumbent Sentiment

    A main mover in these sentiments is the public’s longstanding economic discontent. Eighty-eight percent say the recession is not over. More than half don’t think the economy’s even begun to recover, and most of them don’t think it’ll start improving for more than a year. Among those who do say a recovery has begun, three-quarters say it’s a weak one.

    Negative economic views are closely associated with anti-incumbency and a preference for Republican candidates alike. With 9.7 percent unemployment, Obama and the Democrats are rediscovering the maxim that in politics, absent an unpopular war, there’s nothing as bad for the party in power as a bad economy.

    OBAMA – The president himself is down to scant 5-point leads over the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the economy, health care reform and the threat of terrorism – down, respectively, from 37-, 28- and 21-point advantages on these issues in the spring and summer. His lead on the economy, now near naught, had been a record in ABC/Post polls since 1991.

    The president and the opposition party score about evenly, 45-43 percent, in trust to handle the deficit, an especially weak issue for Obama. He does slightly better, but hardly well, in trust to create jobs, an issue he’s newly (critics would say belatedly) stressed – a 7-point advantage over the Republicans, but below majority preference, 48 to 41 percent.

    [SNIP – first page of four]

  94. washingtonexaminer.com/politics/With-absolute-power_-Team-Obama-grows-stupid-83945567.html

    With absolute power, Team Obama grows stupid

    By: Michael Barone
    February 10, 2010

    How could such smart people do so many stupid things? That question, or variations on it, is being asked in Washington and around the country about the Obama administration.

    The same people who directed the campaign that defeated Hillary Clinton and routed John McCain, a campaign that raised far more money and attracted far more volunteers than any before it, have within a year come up with a legislative program that is crashing in ruins and that, to judge from recent polls, has left the Democratic party weaker than I have seen it in almost 50 years of closely following politics.

    The 2008 campaign was an impressive achievement. So, in a negative way, is the 2009 legislative program that has left the Democrats in such woeful shape in 2010.

    Some in Washington say that the problem is that Barack Obama has chosen to rely on his campaign staff rather than the wise old heads in Washington. But Obama and his team have had the benefit of advice from those wise old heads and from the smartest political strategist the Democratic party has produced in the past half-century, Bill Clinton.

    A truly wise Washington analyst, National Journal’s Jonathan Rauch, says the problem is one-party government. Presidents lead better, he argues, when they are constrained by the need to get bipartisan support.

    There’s something to that. Obama’s three predecessors all had bipartisan initiatives: the 1990 tax package for George Bush 41, North American Free Trade Agreement approval for Clinton, the 2001 education bill and the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit for George Bush 43. Obama has had no bipartisan initiatives of his own.

    The fact that Democrats, from last July until last week, had a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate to go along with Nancy Pelosi’s strong majority in the House seems to have tempted Team Obama to go the all-Democratic route on health care, cap and trade and fiscal policy. But even strong temptations should sometimes be resisted.

    I think the problem is more basic and helps to explain why the people who put together a successful campaign have not, so far at least, provided successful governance.

    Obama campaigned as someone who would rise above partisan divisions. He first attracted national attention in 2004, when our politics was a kind of culture war, by stressing what red-state America and blue-state America had in common. He campaigned in a similar vein in 2007 and 2008.

    But when he came to office in 2009, the cultural issues that had occupied so much of the political landscape for a dozen years had been eclipsed in importance by the financial crisis and the deepening recession.

    So Obama was faced with a fundamental choice. He could either chart a bipartisan course in response to the economic emergency, or he could try to expand government to Western European magnitude as Democratic congressional leaders, elected for years in monopartisan districts, had long wished to do.

    The former community organizer and Chicago pol chose the latter course.

    To the surprise of many who watched previous presidents present specific administration policies to Congress, he allowed Democratic leaders to design the stimulus package they rushed into law in six weeks.

    One-third of the money went to state and local governments — an obvious payoff to the public employee unions that contributed so much money to Democrats — and much of it went to permanently increase the baseline spending of discretionary programs, a longtime goal of Democratic congressional leaders.

    Federal spending was raised from about 20 percent to about 24 percent of gross domestic product, putting the United States on a trajectory to double the national debt as a percentage of GDP in less than 10 years.

    Team Obama overestimated the stimulative effect of the stimulus package and underestimated the strength of the spontaneous Tea Party movement that flared up in protest of this expansion of government.

    They underestimated as well the opposition to expanding government control over health care and, through the cap-and-trade bill, to the energy sector. And the disgust over conspicuous vote-buying on health care — the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, the Labor Loophole.

    Team Obama failed to realize they were no longer running in Chicago or in the Democratic primaries or facing an electorate fed up with Republicans. And, more important, they failed to realize that vastly expanding government goes deeply against the American grain — and against the basic appeal of their successful campaign.

  95. The “LET THEM EAT ARUGULA” campaign of Michelle Obama’s. I agree it is stupid and incongruous with the current times.

  96. I agree with most of the Barone article. The part I disagree with is that Obama had any choice. He was installed in the Presidency to pursue precisely the course he has taken. He has done it without regard to the financial condition of the economy, or the traditions which define us as a country. This was front and center during the campaign in his refusal to salute the flag, his creation of his own emblem, his wife’s disparaging remarks about the country, and his constant apologizing for this nation. He is not his own man. That is the point that conventional pundits do not seem to grasp. Until they come to grips with that reality, they will be at a loss to explain what he has done in the past or will do in the future.

  97. Talking about arugula, I stopped in at the supermarket a couple of weeks ago, and checked out the “used veggies” (the manager discounts), because you never know what kind of deal you can find.

    They had tons of arugula, organic no less, and what a big container might cost 6 or 7 bucks, was on sale for $1.00! I was going to get a few, but then I put more in the cart, until I put every last one of the ten in my cart.

    My wife loves good salad greens, but she thought I had lost my mind.

    Two weeks later, after enjoying arugula every night, I fondly recall it being one of my best food shopping coups.

    Maybe Michelle should stop by Shop Rite and buy tons of stuff for the underprivileged. You know, with all that money she gets from her no-show job.

  98. wbboei
    February 10th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I agree with most of the Barone article. The part I disagree with is that Obama had any choice. He was installed in the Presidency to pursue precisely the course he has taken.

    I totally agree. Those big donations had strings attached. Those key endorsements by backstabbing Dem leadership had strings attached.

    Squid pro quo.

  99. confloyd, re: Michelle and her “eat healthier” campaign, I agree. Poor people buy whatever is cheapest to fill their kids stomachs and that will stretch furthest. That tends to be fats and starches.

    There is also the time and shelf life issue. Fresh organic veggies are both expensive and go bad fast. People WORK, often two jobs, often odd hours like shift work, and often without reliable transportation. They go to the superstores and stock up. They buy what’s cheap and can sit in the pantry for weeks. They don’t have the luxury of toodling down to the 10-am-to-5-pm fresh market every other day in their Prius, after getting off work at a reasonable 4pm, having 3 hours left to cook a leisurely nutritious dinner.

    Mom is dragging herself in the door at 6 pm on a SATURDAY, with 3 kids all clamoring for homework help, and throwing SOMETHING easy into a skillet, because she has to do 4 loads of laundry still before she can pay some bills, fall into bed, and get back up at 6 am to do it again. Think mom freaking cares about arugula? Think again.



    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs flashed a left palm with notes written on it at the news briefing Tuesday, an apparent mocking reference to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s use of her hand as notepad during the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

    Some snow-survival essential foodstuffs and the words “hope” and “change” were written on Gibbs’s hand where Palin had written “energy,” “tax” and “lift American spirits” on hers.

    Palin had mocked President Obama as overly reliant on teleprompters in her speech to Tea Party conventiongoers Saturday, leading her critics to jump when she was revealed to have written notes on her hand and was filmed appearing to glance at the notes during a question and answer session at the conference.

    Gibbs began the exchange while discussing some points he wanted to make about bipartisan health-care reform efforts, according to a transcript:

    GIBBS: ….oh, I wrote a few things down…


    … I wrote…


    GIBBS: I wrote — I wrote “eggs, milk and bread.”


    But I crossed out bread, just so I can make pancakes for Ethan if it snows. And then I wrote down “hope and change,” just in case I forgot…

    QUESTION: Oh, my Lord.

    GIBBS: … that.


    QUESTION: Is that when he was talking?

    It came in handy (OFF-MIKE)

    GIBBS: Pretty good. Pretty good.




    Chris Matthews video sayig she’s an “empty vessel”


    Okay, so when does CM start working for Obama’s staff and/or re-election campaign (or is there any difference?)



    Obama Won’t Drop Potential Use Of Reconciliation On Health Care

    President Obama wants to keep the option of using reconciliation to pass health care reform despite calls from Republican lawmakers that he agree to drop the parliamentary maneuver as a “good faith” gesture” before their bipartisan health care summit.

    White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that Republicans coming to the West Wing for the much-anticipated February 25 meeting would be better off arriving “without preconditions.” Asked whether Obama would commit to not using reconciliation — which would allow aspects of health care legislation to be considered in the Senate by an up-or-down vote — Gibbs replied:

    “The president is not going to eliminate things based on preconditions. And if that’s one of their preconditions, the president doesn’t agree to limiting the way we are going to discuss this.”

    The day before, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) penned a letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel expressing their reluctance to participate in the health care summit and asking that ground rules be set before talks begin. Among those rules: agreeing to not use reconciliation to make amendments to the Senate health care bill.

    “Eliminating the possibility of reconciliation would represent an important show of good faith to Republicans and the American people,” the two GOP leaders wrote.

    Both Boehner and Cantor pushed for Obama to scrap the legislative language in its entirety and start the process over from scratch.

    During a surprise appearance before the White House press corps, President Obama was asked whether he could live with bipartisanship by this definition. He could not.

    “I am going to be starting from scratch in the sense that I will be open to any ideas that help promote these goals,” he said. “What I will not do, what I don’t think makes sense… will be another year of partisan wrangling around these issues, another six months, or eight months, or nine months worth of hearings in every single committee in the House and Senate in which there is a lot of posturing… Let’s get the relevant parties together… My hope is we can find enough overlap that we can say, ‘This is the right way to move forward,” even if we don’t get every single idea that I want.”

  103. Two points on the above Huffpo piece:

    1. When Obama says, “I am going to be starting from scratch in the sense that I will be open to any ideas that help promote these goals,”,

    he really means that

    a) he is NOT starting from scratch
    b) he is admitting this mtg w/ repubs is a stunt to paint the Repubs as obstructionist, and that he really in NOT open to “any ideas that help promote these goals”.

    2. Surprise press conference, huh? So the lightweight POTUS hiding from the press read all the stories about what a chicken shit he is, for promising “transparency” and “openness” and doing the pole opposite. So he DOES respond to intimidation.

  104. Re: the economy, and trying to loosen lending to small business, the boob and his advisors are living in a past that no longer applies.

    It might help some, but in the NASB poll conducted, only 5% of small business owners said access to capital was their problem. It’s that there are no customers, because people are hurting financially.

    We have to get disposable money into the hands of consumers, period. We’ve managed to do that in a flagging economy in the past by easy credit, not better jobs. We financed it all by people running up credit cards and using their homes as ATM’s. We papered over the job and wage loss problems with easy money, so people FELT well off even while they were losing ground.

    That little “trick” won’t work this time around, because Americans have hit a debt wall, and CANNOT take on more debt. Not gonna happen. They are drowning in it as it is. The day of reckoning is here, and paying jobs are the only solution. Flogging the system to entice more lending and borrowing is a recipe for failure, yet that is the stance they are taking. Then they keep looking around baffled that it’s not working this time when it worked before. End of the credit line, buckos – you are going to have to deliver jobs or we are sunk.

  105. rgb44hrc: you are right. The agenda of the American People is jobs. The agenda of Obama is saving the banks, cutting deals with heath care business, global cap and trade, and open borders. That is the agenda of multinational corporations and global bankers who installed him. It comes at the expense of the American People. Some are starting to wake up to the hoax that was perpetrated on them. I firmly believe that Obama’s agenda is perverse and it will lead to great suffering, and national decline. I hope I am wrong about that but I am afraid I am right.

  106. Hillaryfortexas: have to deliver jobs or we are sunk.
    True. They need to be delivered here at home rather than in China. But he has neither the will or the capacity to do that. In fact, the policies he advocates will raise taxes and kill jobs. Perhaps he is the Manchurian Candidate after all.

  107. pm317, You betcha its ridiculous at this time. People that have no jobs wait in lines for food stamps, WIC, unemployment office lines and are on a calling wheel as to when the government will deliver cheese, rice and beans, they are only interested in filling the hungry belly and being thankful for what they were able to find to fill it.
    WHen everyone has jobs, then we can tackle childhood obesity, of coarse you can look at this way, we will all be starving and those kids that have a little fat around the middle will make it a little longer than those skinny kids, so with her husband’s policies in mind perhaps we should fatten up our children now in anticipation of when he manages to legislate us into a famine.

  108. HillaryforTexas
    February 10th, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Riverdaughter has one of her best pieces ever up regarding the boob in the WH, and the frat boys running our country into the ground.


    Yes, Riverdaughter’s piece was excellent. She put the “Gang of Four” into perspective. That would be everything bad that has ever happened in the past year as the fault of Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod.

    The only thing lacking is Riverdaughter’s awareness of the Puppetmaster, George Soros’ involvement. He directs the Gang of Four of what to do next through his messengers, the ‘big dick swinger’, Rahm Emanuel and his wolverine counterpart Valerie Jarret. Then, you have the full picture of who is running the WH.

    Thanks for posting it… H4T..

  109. At this point a stimulus like Bush did, would be good. They people will spend it and it should help, I think this is what helped us after Sept. 11th, but of coarse we had a surplus 9 months and 11 days before then, so we weren’t as bad off as then.

  110. Mrs. Smith, Sometimes I wonder if you know these guys in Washington. LOL!! Your descriptions are hilarious.

    Have you started saving an extra box of Mac and Cheese yet?

  111. Personally, I think that the job situation is an emergency that should take priority over everything. I am not anti-tax, anti-regulation as a rule, but sometimes in an emergency you have to do whatever works.

    So ANYTHING that will get businesses expanding and hiring ought to be done, IMO, and we’ll deal with the aftereffects later. If that means slashing taxes on manufacturing corporations, loosening or streamlining/fasttracking environmental regulation or other regulations, slashing capital gains tax or whatever. If it will free up business to build new plants, invest in industries, then DO it, period, WHATEVER it is.

    I saw an interview with a guy who wanted to build a manufacturing plant in CA that would employ thousands. He had been wading through the regulations, OSHA pre-requisites, EPA studies, permits, etc for TWO YEARS and still had not broken ground. He could go to freaking Eastern Europe and have it up and running in 6 months.

    I’m sorry, but that’s insane. We need to give across-the-baord exemptions from a lot of that red tape for awhile. You don’t waste your police force giving parking tickets when a natural disaster is going on. There is a time and a place for parking tickets, but a national job emergency ain’t it.

  112. wbboei – your upthread comment was spot on:

    “Because he (Bambi) has no aptitude for governing he would rather fail and blame it on the Republicans than succeed in an incremental way to actually solve the problems.”

    It’s all about image, only his image, all the time. The desperation of the traitor is becoming more and more abundantly clear with every statement that he teleprompts. It’s obvious that he has no desire to be part of worthwhile solutions as the difficult, sometimes blue collar effort required to do so is beneath him. My blue collar father had a term that he used to show disdain for such an individual: a white hat. Not that my father believed that all white hats suffered from the same affliction; he actually referred to many white hats as co-workers, the highest praise he would ever offer someone that worked for a living.

  113. rollingstone.com/politics/story/31961846/no_we_cant

    No We Can’t

    Obama had millions of followers eager to fight for his agenda. But the president muzzled them – and he’s paying the price

    TIM DICKINSONPosted Feb 02, 2010 9:27 AM

    …worth the read…just about everyone is catching on…


    trouble in the rust belt


    Rasmussen Reports Toomey 47, Specter 38 Toomey +9
    Rasmussen Reports Toomey 43, Sestak 35 Toomey +8

    Republican Toomey has a larger lead over Specter than Sestak, even though Sestak is further behind Specter.

    Ohio Senate:
    Rasmussen Reports Portman 42, Brunner 38 Portman +4
    Rasmussen Reports Portman 43, Fisher 39 Portman +4

  115. rgb44hrc
    February 10th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    What are his choices here? He didn’t have even one success in her first year as potus. His arrogance and that of his thug buddies that they know best continues to flourish with everything he says and does. Unless he suddenly has a lobotomy and changes into a decent, honest, caring human being (not going to happen), then he is going to ram this through so he doesn’t have to lose face.

  116. and Reid loses to either:

    Nevada Senate:
    Rasmussen Reports Tarkanian 47, Reid 39 Tarkanian +8
    Rasmussen Reports Lowden 45, Reid 39 Lowden +6


    Bennet behind either Repub:

    Colorado Senate:
    Rasmussen Reports Bennet 41, Buck 45 Buck +$
    Rasmussen Reports Norton 51, Bennet 37 Norton +14

    And even DailyKaos has the Republican ahead in NH:

    New Hampshire Senate:
    Daily Kos/R2000 Ayotte 46, Hodes 39 Ayotte +7

  118. JanH, it does not seem likely that he’ll be able to ram health care via reconciliation, I think it’s just bluster.

  119. Kentucky Blue(grass) Dems

    Either Dem losing to either Republican:

    Kentucky Senate:

    Rasmussen Reports Grayson 44, Conway 40 Grayson +4
    Rasmussen Reports Grayson 49, Mongiardo 35 Grayson +14
    Rasmussen Reports Paul 47, Conway 39 Paul +8
    Rasmussen Reports Paul 48, Mongiardo 37 Paul +11


    Connecticut Senate:
    Rasmussen Reports Blumenthal 56, McMahon 36 Blumenthal +20
    Rasmussen Reports Blumenthal 54, Simmons 35 Blumenthal +19


    All four Repubs kicking her butt by double digits…TOAST:

    Arkansas Senate
    Rasmussen Reports Baker 52, Lincoln 33 Baker +19
    Rasmussen Reports Lincoln 35, Hendren 51 Hendren +16
    Rasmussen Reports Coleman 50, Lincoln 34 Coleman +16
    Rasmussen Reports Lincoln 36, Cox 50 Cox +14



    February 03, 2010
    Analysis: Can the GOP win control of Congress?

    Liz Sidoti

    Just weeks ago, it seemed inconceivable the Republicans could win control of Congress this fall.

    Not anymore.

    Almost by the day, Republicans are sensing fresh opportunities to pick up ground. Just Wednesday, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats announced he would try to reclaim his old seat from Democrat Evan Bayh, who barely a year ago had been a finalist to be Barack Obama’s running mate. And Republicans nationwide are still celebrating Scott Brown’s January upset to take Edward Kennedy’s former seat in Massachusetts.

    A Republican takeover on Capitol Hill is still a long shot. But strategists in both parties now see at least narrow paths by which the GOP could win the House and, if the troubled environment for Democrats deteriorates further, possibly even the Senate.

    “Democrats have got their hands full trying to navigate through unprecedented economic turmoil and two wars,” says former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb. He suggests the gloomy talk within the party is overstated and the Democrats are still likely to retain control, but he adds: “There’s no question that there’s anger out there.”

    With nine months to go, 2010 is shaping up in one sense to be a traditional midterm election for a new president: The out-of-power party is poised to gain seats in both houses. The question now is whether it will be a historic election with Republicans actually seizing power in Congress.

    The Republicans would have to gain 40 seats in the 435-member House, ten in the 100-member Senate — a tall order no matter how upset voters are. But still. …

    In the Senate, two Democratic seats are all but gone.

    North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan is retiring, and the Democrats don’t have anyone to challenge the Republican, Gov. John Hoeven. Democrats also failed to recruit their top candidate in Delaware. Vice President Joe Biden’s son eschewed a run against Republican Mike Castle. New Castle County executive Chris Coons, a Democrat, got in the race Wednesday but he’s expected to face an uphill battle.

    For a GOP takeover, incumbent Democrats also would have to lose in Colorado, where appointed Sen. Michael Bennet hasn’t run statewide and faces a primary; Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unpopular but has a hefty bank account; Arkansas, where Sen. Blanche Lincoln suffers from representing a GOP-leaning state; Pennsylvania, where party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter is extraordinarily vulnerable, and Illinois, where a dogfight is certain for President Obama’s old seat.

    Republicans would have to hold on to all the Senate seats they have now, hardly a sure thing. And the GOP also would have to beat incumbents in New York, where no Republican has emerged to challenge appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Connecticut, where Democrat Richard Blumenthal is comfortably leading all GOP contenders in polls.

    If all that somehow happens, the tipping point could be either in Indiana or in California.

    “Every state is now in play,” California Sen. Barbara Boxer said one day after the Massachusetts election. It was a frank recognition that no Democrat is safe — not even a three-term liberal with bunches of money in a solidly Democratic state.

    Not coincidentally, when Obama had a televised question-and-answer session with Democrats on Wednesday, the senators given prominent face time included Boxer, Reid, Bayh, Bennet, Lincoln, Gillibrand and Specter.

    “It would be surprising if Democrats lost power,” says former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. “But anything in politics is possible. And if the economy’s still in the tank 60 days out of the election, it’s going to be difficult for Democrats.”

    In the House, Democrats hold a 256-178 advantage with one vacancy. But 49 Democrats are in districts that Republican presidential candidate John McCain won in 2008. And many are freshmen who rode into power on Obama’s coattails in an election that saw a voting surge by minorities and youths. Obama won’t be on the ballot this time, and he has a poor track record so far when it comes to turning out his 2008 backers for fellow Democrats.

    Possible bellwethers: A GOP wave could be in the offing if Democrats like John Salazar in Colorado, Zack Space in Ohio, John Spratt in South Carolina or Ben Chandler in Kentucky are in close races this fall.

    House Republicans have their own challenges.

    In more than 50 districts, divisive GOP primaries are certain to drain bank accounts and force Republicans into taking positions that could be troublesome come the general election. In many cases, “tea party” candidates are running to the right of establishment-endorsed Republicans, casting them as too moderate for the party and too cozy with Washington. In other races, Republican candidates are dropping out to run as third party candidates who could siphon votes from the eventual GOP nominee.

    To understand why incumbents are nervous, look no further than the persistent 10 percent unemployment rate, the country’s bitterness over Wall Street bailouts and voters’ anti-Washington fervor.

    Obama’s party, controlling both the White House and Congress, is likely to feel that fury the most. And it’s defending far more seats than the Republicans.

    The Democrats already have faced one monumental setback this year, the GOP Senate victory in the Democratic bastion of Massachusetts. That outcome further energized Republicans and demoralized Democrats. It also fueled hope among Republicans and fear among at least some Democrats that another 1994 may be ahead.

    “Something’s happening out there,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the galvanizing Republican who helped unite the GOP that year when it swept to power in Congress on President Bill Clinton’s watch. “The economy hurts. People are unhappy.”

    He put at even the chances that Republicans will take the House, though he predicted they would gain only up to six Senate seats.

    Compared with 1994, he said: “Democrats are more isolated ideologically with a much bigger economic problem.” Conversely, he said, the GOP’s brand is weaker and it doesn’t have enough money.

    Indeed, Republicans dramatically trail Democrats in fundraising. They also lack a charismatic leader to rally around and are enmeshed in a bitter debate over their party’s future. And, like their Democratic counterparts, GOP incumbents face an electorate inclined to topple lawmakers of all political stripes.



    Is Obama Playing Poker With This Health Care Summit?

    David Corn

    During a surprise visit to the White House briefing room on Tuesday afternoon, President Obama noted that “the public has soured on the process” that has produced separate-but-close Senate and House versions of health care reform legislation. And this souring, he said, “actually contaminates how [Americans] view the substance of the bills.” Consequently, the president added, the bipartisan health care reform summit the White House is convening on Feb. 25 will move things along by showing the folks back home “that there is complete transparency and all of these issues have been adequately vetted and adequately debated.”

    Is that really what people want? More gabbing about health care — and more squawking about which side is truly trying to be bipartisan? It’s hard to see how another confab about health care reform is going to improve the approval ratings of “the process.” There certainly won’t be a grand bipartisan deal struck at this session. In fact, as Obama was talking to White House reporters, the office of Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican House whip, was firing off a press release deriding the summit as “a dog and pony show to trumpet failed bills that, in fact, the Democrats can’t even pass.” (Technical point, Mr. Whip: The bills did pass. But they have yet to be reconciled. That’s the rub.)

    Still, Cantor said the GOPers would show up at the summit — in order to express their opposition to the Obama-backed bills. And the Republican Party has attacked the event as “political theater” designed to push Obama’s “government takeover of health care.”
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    Obama and the White House obviously realize that this get-together will not un-sour the process. So why do it? The obvious answer is this: The president is playing poker.

    During his days as a state senator in Illinois, Obama participated in a regular game with Democratic and Republican legislators and even some lobbyists. He was known as a cautious and focused player. He’d often fold if his hand was weak. But that meant that he often succeeded the rare times he bluffed.

    Now he’s bluffing.

    Obama and his crew can’t expect any real legislative gains to emanate from this summit. And they show no signs of looking to seriously recast the Democratic bills on the basis of the GOP input the president is courteously requesting. Obama and his aides must be hoping to win the sideshow battle over that ever-pressing question, who’s really bipartisan? After all, he is inviting the opposition to present their ideas — which will make him look accommodating. But he will note, as he did on Tuesday, that the existing Democratic bills did incorporate a few Republican proposals and that the GOPers have tried to put up a concrete wall regarding the legislation he favors. The goal: to use a bipartisan gathering to highlight GOP obstructionism.

    Such gamesmanship, whether it works or not, won’t cause Americans to lose their distaste of the process. But the White House probably calculates this is Obama’s last shot to act like a gentlemen before he and the Democrats nail the Republicans by using a legislative procedure known as reconciliation (which only requires a majority vote) in order to pass revisions to the health care reform measures already approved that will allow the legislation to land on the president’s desk for his signature.

    This bluff is also filling time for Obama. Right now, parliamentarian experts for the House and Senate Democrats are attempting to figure out how this reconciliation strategy could work. (Trust me, it’s complicated.) So not much else is happening — especially with Snowpocalypse I and II hitting Washington the week before a week-long congressional recess.

    As the Obama White House has observed in the past, when there’s a lull in that sour legislative process, the foes of the president’s health care overhaul get a good opportunity to fire away at it. The health care summit proposed by the White House is sort of a placeholder. It provides journalists and the politerati something to write, talk and argue about — Exhibit A: this column — and prevents the emergence of a void that would benefit the opponents of Obama’s initiative.

    So the summit is a two-fer for the White House: a forum in which Obama can attempt to win the bipartisan sweepstakes and a useful distraction. “The summit shows the president is prepared to go the extra mile,” says a top Democratic Senate aide. “He can take charge of the narrative, while we Democrats still have to sort everything out. And if he can do all this convincingly, he will demonstrate to recalcitrant, squishy Democrats we’re going forward.”

    The key phrase is “going forward.” At some point, Obama will probably have to jettison the process PR and nudge — or force — action in Congress. The health care summit can buy him some time, while House and Senate Dems craft their endgame. Yet he could soon run out of bluff. Then he’ll just have to play the cards he has.

  123. In U.S., praise flows for North justice deal

    By Ray O’Hanlon

    February 10, 2010 The deal on policing and justice in Northern Ireland finally reached last week after long negotiations has been widely hailed by U.S. political leaders led by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    A statement issued by the White House said that the president appreciated “the personal contributions and steadfast support” of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in support of the historic agreement achieved by Northern Ireland leaders. The deal, said the statement, was “an important step on the pathway to greater peace and prosperity for all communities on the island.”

    The president, it added, “looks forward to commemorating his second St. Patrick’s Day in the White House with the Taoiseach, a celebration which serves as a reminder of the shared history and close kinship between our two countries.” It stated that President Obama would also meet with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in Washington on St. Patrick’s Day.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was being widely credited with critical behind-the-scenes work that helped lead to the eventual devolution deal, said the agreement would help consolidate the hard-won gains of the past decade.

    Clinton, who visited Belfast last October, said she has been in regular contact with the Northern Ireland parties and recognized that the path to agreement had been “bumpy.”
    “This is not the end of the journey. So far, the devolution process has enabled Northern Ireland’s leaders to enact a range of needed reforms, from health to housing to environmental safety. Now they have even greater authority, and with that authority comes greater responsibility. They must continue to lead,” she said.

    “The people of Northern Ireland are poised to build a thriving society on this stronger foundation, a country where neighbors can live free from fear and all people have the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.”

    Clinton said the success of the peace process was an example to conflict-blighted regions across the world.
    “Northern Ireland gives us hope that, despite entrenched opposition and innumerable setbacks, diligent diplomacy and committed leadership can overcome generations of suspicion and hostility.

    She said the Obama administration, through its Northern Ireland economic envoy, Declan Kelly, would continue its work to ensure future economic development. She also said that she would host a meeting in Washington with First Minister Robinson and Deputy First Minister McGuinness in the near future to discuss future investment in the North.

    “I am confident that people of Northern Ireland will make the most of this moment. And I want to reaffirm the commitment of the United States, and my personal commitment as well, to support Northern Ireland in every way we can,” Clinton said.

    Congressman Richard Neal, chairman of the congressional Friends of Ireland, also welcomed the deal worked out at Hillsborough Castle. “The agreement reached at Hillsborough between the political parties is a victory for the people of Northern Ireland and the inclusive power-sharing institutions that represent them. “It is another significant and transformative milestone that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The devolution of power will now be complete and the responsibilities of governing on a cross community basis will now be exclusively in the hands of locally elected officials. The new dispensation of partnership and equality promised in the Good Friday Agreement, and the St. Andrews Agreement, is one step closer to reality. With this historic agreement, we are now witnessing the beginning of a new era,” said Neal.

    “I wish to congratulate First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for their extraordinary leadership. In my opinion, they have kept their word and delivered for the whole community big time. I look forward to their visit to Washington in March where we can discuss ways to strengthen our relationship, and make Northern Ireland a more peaceful and prosperous society. The United States is deeply invested in the peace process, and our interest and support for the people who live on the island will not waver. “Finally, I also wish to recognize the work of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. They have taken great risks for peace, and without their efforts, today’s breakthrough would not have been possible. They have been steadfast and resolute throughout these negotiations, and the Friends of Ireland in the United States Congress are genuinely grateful for their commitment to making this process work,” the Massachusetts Democrat concluded.

    Neal’s sentiments were reflected by comments from fellow representatives on the House Ad Committee on Irish Affairs, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY). The agreement, said the three, laid out a pathway forward for local control of policing and justice powers with all parties agreeing to undertake a series of steps aimed at complete devolution by April 12.

    “While more remains to be done, this announcement is an important and historic step forward towards ensuring long-lasting peace in Northern Ireland.

    “We applaud the leaders who worked so hard to secure this critical accord, including Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson. We also commend Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown for their tireless and courageous efforts in making the Hillsborough Castle Agreement a reality. We would also like to thank U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her steadfast leadership and involvement in the devolution process. “The dream of peace and complete self-governance for the people of Northern Ireland is one step closer to reality today,” the three congressmen concluded.

    Senator Chris Dodd described the deal as one that will preserve the power-sharing government and cement the peace process set in motion by the Good Friday peace accord in 1998. “Northern Ireland, Ireland and Britain’s leaders have worked tirelessly and courageously to advance the peace process in the face of political stalemate. I stand committed to working with President Obama and our partners in London, Dublin, and Belfast to ensure that (the) agreement is implemented and sustained,” said Dodd, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who, along with his close friend and Senate ally, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, played a pivotal role in the early involvement of the U.S. in the quest for a lasting peace in the North.

    Outside of politics, the deal was given prompt backing by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. New York State AOH President, Chip McLean, welcomed the agreement and also saw in it a step forward towards a future united Ireland. “After much work and arduous negotiations, some of which extended into around-the-clock sessions, an agreement has been reached,” McLean said. “Some will find shortcomings with the agreement; however, compromise at times is the key to negotiations. Just as some will take exception to items in the agreement, some also find fault with both Sinn Féin and the DUP. We must remember that both sides of the community rely heavily on these two parties and we must keep in mind how far they have brought the process to this point,” McLean said.

    “The agreement provides for some key issues. The Irish language and those who choose to speak it are preserved and protected. The rights and control by the residents of the parades remains intact. I am confident that this clearly shows a leap forward toward a united Ireland, McLean said. “Our quest, as outlined in the Constitution of the Ancient Order of Hibernians for a United Ireland, is something that we can now see as truly attainable,” he said.


  124. rgb, I love arugula. Arugula (or any mixed salad greens), pear slices and a few grapes, gorgonzola and a few toasted almonds, lemon (lots) + salt, no oil necessary. try it.

    confloyd, your observation about MO’s ill-timed campaign was right on the mark.

    Here in DC, we are having another bout of snow since yesterday. Everything is closed. We had power outage this morning for hours but it came back now and don’t know how long it will last. In the last go around on Friday-Saturday, we didn’t have power for nearly 40 hours and we could not even get out because roads were not plowed and the driveway and the neighborhood roads were a mess.

  125. Assuming Hillary won’t run in 2012, and we all agree we want Obam out, we cannot support a Palin candidacy. While we can support some of her ideas and that she should be treated much better by the MSM, she is simply unelectable. Yes, she has the far right and religious right, but she will NOT get independents as her views on certain issues are not going to sit well . I like her, but I disagree with many of her opinions. If she runs , she splits the republican party and allows Barry to easily win. At this time, unfortunately, the republicans have no one else with any charisma , intellect and independent appeal. I still like Romney, as a Governor and smart business man.

  126. That David Corn is another footlicker. Obama is bluffing — sure, he is. The fact is he didn’t have to bluff and it didn’t have to come to this if he had followed his own advice and done a substantively good healthcare plan without deals all above board. People are attuned to what is going on and they will smell the phony and desperate gambit that this is. If he thinks he will make the republicans look bad with this, then I think it will backfire. I also had a good laugh how all his minions were pointing to his encounter with the House GoP that he can hold his own without a teleprompter.

    Althouse had the best response for this health summit gambit:

    President Obama is now trying to do what the Democrats had said they were going to do and didn’t do.

    “For months, the president has endured criticism that he reneged on a promise to televise healthcare negotiations on C-SPAN. By opening up the summit to the cameras, Obama can argue he is making good on that commitment at a crucial point in the process.”

    You want to resort to an approach that you promised but avoided when you thought you could get away with it? To say that’s the same as keeping the promise is like saying you’re not a thief after you try to shoplift and then offer to pay when you get caught.

    But if it was a good idea to televise negotiations once, it might be a good idea now. It would test the Republicans’ assertion that although the current bills are bad, reform is needed.

    “[T]he summit gives the president a chance to paint Republicans as obstructionists who refuse offers of compromise. If that’s how the event is perceived, it could pay off for Democrats in the November midterm elections.”

    Or the event could be perceived as a political tactic, which is what it is.

  127. Glennbeck is advocating letting the entire country collapse. He has not idea what that will do to people, many people will starve to death.

  128. mp, he is the charlie wilson from “Charlie Wilson’s War”. He is from Nacogdoches (where my grandchildren live).

  129. BUSINESSFEBRUARY 10, 2010, 5:56 P.M. ET.Iran Mobilizes to Stifle Text .By FARNAZ FASSIHI
    BEIRUT—Iranian authorities deployed in force across Tehran Wednesday to conduct last-minute security sweeps and warn residents to refrain from joining antigovernment protests planned for Thursday.

    The government typically orchestrates large, carnival-like rallies and demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the Islamic Republic. For this year’s events on Feb. 11, the day marking the culmination of the annual celebrations, opposition leaders have called for protesters to demonstrate against the regime. That has set the stage for clashes between authorities and demonstrators, who have taken to the streets repeatedly to protest the outcome of presidential elections in June.

    Government officials, meanwhile, ratcheted up threats against any protests Thursday, vowing to confront demonstrators on the streets and calling for government supporters to turn out in large numbers. Iranian officials have branded protesters as agents of foreign powers.

    The Iranian judiciary has handed down a number of harsh sentences against protesters arrested in previous demonstrations, including at least 10 pending death sentences.

    Associated Press

    An Iranian protestor held a picture of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during a demonstration in front of the French Embassy in Tehran Tuesday.

    .On Wednesday, semi-official news services and opposition Web sites reported last-minute attempts by police and plain-clothes militia to suppress antigovernment demonstrations.

    Basij militia took over a large bus and taxi station in western Tehran, shutting it down and draping a banner over the terminal stating the area will serve as headquarters for security forces.

    Iranian Web sites said the bus terminal would also be used by security forces coming in from the provinces to help suppress protests in the capital.

    The government typically buses in large numbers of government supporters from outlying regions to Tehran to participate in rallies.

    Meanwhile, human-rights groups in Iran reported late Wednesday that 19 mothers whose children were killed in previous post-election unrest, had been detained by authorities.

    View Interactive

    Timeline: Upheaval in Iran
    .Iranians have reported widespread service disruptions to Internet and text messaging services, though mobile phones appeared to be operating normally Wednesday.

    Iran’s telecommunications agency announced what it described as a permanent suspension of Google Inc.’s email services, saying instead that a national email service for Iranian citizens would soon be rolled out. It wasn’t clear late Wednesday what effect the order had on Google’s email services in Iran.

    Google didn’t have an immediate comment about the announcement.

    Police have also confiscated satellite dishes from residential roof tops, according to opposition Web sites. Some pedestrians have been quoted on opposition Web sites saying that their mobile phones were searched and, in some cases, taken by police patrolling areas of the capital where protests have erupted in the past.

    Iranian authorities tasked with upholding Islamic values have also been scouring the streets, harassing people wearing green, the trademark color of the opposition, according to witness accounts posted on opposition Web sites.

    Basij forces, the mostly volunteer corps of progovernment militia, have distributed flyers to homes in many neighborhoods, saying that progovernment supporters “will confront the enemies of Islam” in any protests Thursday.

    In south Tehran, Basij members came in a caravan of 15 motorbikes, according to several opposition sites, whose accounts corroborated with each other. They knocked on doors and handed out flyers, or threw them over the street-side walls of residential compounds, the reports said.

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s elite security force, has deployed its troops along routes planned for the opposition demonstrations on Thursday.

    Local media have been warned to avoid provocative headlines and not to cover protests not sanctioned by the state. The few foreign reporters still accredited to work in Iran have been told they can only cover government celebrations, and are banned from interviewing opposition supporters or regular citizens.

    Political dissidents and activists who were recently released from jail have been called in by the intelligence ministry in the past few days and warned not to take part in demonstrations on Thursday, according to a report by the Organization to Defend Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, a local human-rights group.

    Opposition leaders don’t appear to be backing down. Mehdi Karroubi, a former presidential candidate, said Wednesday he will march peacefully from a neighborhood in west Tehran towards the capital’s Azadi Square Thursday morning.

    Opposition Web sites reported that former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, an opposition leader, held an emergency meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday night, complaining about the heavy-handed crackdowns ahead of Feb. 11 and calling for “the end of shameful actions” against protesters.

    Despite the crackdown, authorities Wednesday appeared to also signal some flexibility. Iran’s Revolutionary Court on Wednesday reduced the prison sentence of Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakhsh to five years in from 15, in an appellate hearing. Mr. Tajbakhsh was sentenced on charges of plotting against national security.

    Alireza Beheshti, a top aide to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, was released from prison Tuesday night in critical condition, after suffering a heart attack in Evin prison this week, according to opposition Web sites.

  130. Fox is sticking to Hillary today as they have investigated the Orphanage that she and Mother Theresa opened. Its apparently closed and has been closed a long time. A source said they never facilitate one adoption and was probably never opened. Well Fox is gearing up now to pull Hillary in for the killing. Sorry folks, I just can’t watch it this time.

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